7 comments

I was investigating a travel deal advertised on "Deal Chicken" (similar to Groupon) that seemed too good to be true. It was $395 for an 8-day, 7-night vacation for UP TO 8 PEOPLE at one of more than 500 resorts worldwide $1500 value for $395!

The url for the deal is: https://www.dealchicken.com/buffalo-ny/18005

I went to the website of the travel place, Luxury Resorts Worldwide, (http://www.luxuryresortsworldwide.com), which BTW has no phone number or other way to contact them. I did do a live chat with someone there (while I was on the page the option popped up, it's not there always). They forwarded me to their facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/LuxuryResortsWorldwide) and I read many positive reviews there. Suspicious though, I started looking at the FaceBook pages of the people recommending the travel packages. Each FaceBook page I looked at was suspicious...

Many had apparently no friends and almost no activity on their Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Gracebay1

http://www.facebook.com/mustangsally94

This one had a few friends: http://www.facebook.com/kathy.dickey.39

But hardly anything on her page; One of her posts about a dog had one reply from one of her freinds. That freind was also suspcious and had virtually NO activity on their account: http://www.facebook.com/susan.lay.121

Then there were some people with a lot of friends and a lot of activity on their account. Unfortunately, a LOT of their friends were also people who were vouching for how great Luxury Resorts Worldwide was. The people on the Luxury Resorts Worldwide FaceBook page, purporting to be typical customers are not likely going to all know each other! AND, if you look at their Facebook pages, a LOT of the content on their pages were all copied from the same sources!

For example, http://www.facebook.com/sadun.jayawardana.5 (who goes by the name Randy Donald) is friends with:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003587 />http://www.facebook.com/sakuni.peiries (who goes by the name Amanda Larry)

http://www.facebook.com/chanakamw

http://www.facebook.com/priyamaheshi

http://www.facebook.com/priya.hettiarachi (who goes by the name Smantha Parker)

http://www.facebook.com/aaron.white.56829

http://www.facebook.com/sujeewa.saman (goes by the name Alex Railly)

http://www.facebook.com/upekshawee (goes by Bree Brown)

http://www.facebook.com/chathura.susantha

http://www.facebook.com/olivia.james.3998

http://www.facebook.com/jake.lee.96387

http://www.facebook.com/saduniwe (goes by Britny Ray)

ALL of these people left positive comments on the Facebook page of Luxury Resorts Worldwide (http://www.facebook.com/LuxuryResortsWorldwide) of how awesome the deal was, or how great a trip they had, etc. Britny Ray (http://www.facebook.com/saduniwe) talks about how happy she and her husband were with the deal, while her Facebook profile indicates she is single.

ALL of the people above (friends of Randy) have similar content, same pictures re-posted from another source. And if you look at the few people who left comments on some of the posts, their FaceBook pages often look suspicious too.

I don't know if the company and the travel packages it offers is legit, although I have seen *many* sites with *many* complaints. There were some positive reviews on other sites, but one of them I saw was from one of the people listed above. But what I DO know is that it appears the testimonials left on their FaceBook pages are fraudulent.

How has FaceBook not cracked down on this?! Isn't there SOME duty for them to verify their system isn't being used to scam others? Especially since this is a place advertising goods and services through FaceBook and using other FaceBook accounts to show how legitimate their services are? As a software developer myself, I know there are some relatively simple techniques FaceBook could employ to identify this type of blatant fraudulent activity.

I am just sorry for all the people who have gotten scammed, especially those who thought they were doing their homework by reviewing the recommendations on FaceBook for Luxury Resorts Worldwide.

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Anonymous
Guntersville, Alabama, United States #954628

We have used 4 of the vouchers (In the smokies and in Florida on beach resorts)--- unfortunatly, they are no longer selling them as I have tried many times in the past 4 months trying to buy another one and no one will answer emails or anything :-(

We stayed at some of the best resorts with them. I have heard of people not being able to book after buying, but we never once had a problem.

Anonymous
Erie, Pennsylvania, United States #858072

I have purchased 2 of these vouchers in the last 3 years.It had worked out really well for our family.

We are last minutes travelers because of our work schedules.

I always research the resort that I want to stay at on tripadvisor before booking the trip.It seems like not all of the resorts are of a high standard but we have loved the ones that we have selected.

Anonymous
Phoenix, Arizona, United States #820407

I just want to say that I've gotten the vouchers twice and used them both with success.Once we went to Kauai and the other time to Mexico.

We had no problems booking and reserving the resorts and it was an awesome deal.I bought mine through Groupon.

Anonymous
San Francisco, California, United States #684260

Thanks so much for your careful and informative research! We need more people out there like you that care about consumers! I'm grateful :o)

Anonymous
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia #628784

I want you to know LRW is legit I know because.I have stayed at their resorts here in Australia.

I want to point out 3 things 1/ people make fake email address , facebook & twitter pagers because they don't want to be pestered by companies & they want to make sure It is legit before buying. 2 LRW had a competition for likes on their facebook page Perhaps the person who won those comps did so by adding friends they did NOT have. 3 If this is so much of a scam of which I know that it is not. Then why does Dealchicken run this offer nearly every month.

I think what your site offers is a way to vent but by starting the vent with out facts that LRW themselves did something wrong is poor.; As you yourself stated you could make fake facebook friends Did You??? All you want pissed off customers posting here on your page. What you need is webpage views to make you money. My first trip with LRW was a gift from a friend in the usa.

Since then I have been getting deals sent to me from him & paying him for them.

Please contact LRW get your facts straight email Joe contact@luxuryresortsworldwide.com and ask him your questions and Post the conversation here.I am sure you wont.

WatchDawg
#550484

Your welcome blondieC!I was hoping this would save some people a whole lot of pain!

I can't believe how much time I spent investigating and then documenting it.

Almost threw in the towel trying to document it, but I thought it was such a bad thing they were doing that I wanted to save someone else from falling prey to them.Glad it helped you out :-)

Anonymous
#550383

Thank you for this, I was actually in the process of purchasing a voucher to use in Hawaii. Saved me 400 and a headache, Thanks again investigator!

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