JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Larriesha Davis said she and her five friends paid close to $2,000 to a woman claiming to be a travel agent, but her trip was never booked.
Davis was planning her birthday trip with her friends. It was a girls trip to Denver in June. She said she found a travel agent on Facebook who could give her a good deal, but after spending nearly $2,000 with nothing booked, she said she’s trying to get her money back.
"We're not going to Denver,” said Davis.
Davis said a woman named Tamisha Moore's Facebook page seemed like a business page for "T&K Dream Vacations.”
"I just contacted her on Facebook messenger first and we started texting,” said Davis.
Over the last month, she and her five friends sent Moore about $1800 through the mobile payment service called Cash App.
Moore sent what Davis thought was an official itinerary. "The itinerary basically has our flight details and our hotel so I was thinking, oh it's okay we have a whole itinerary here,” he said.
Davis said all of a sudden, the woman stopped answering her calls and messages, and she got suspicious. "I called Spirit to see if our flights are booked, and they're not,” she said.
"T&K Dream Vacations" does not come up on a Google search and is not a business with the Better Business Bureau. On Moore's digital business card, the word “vacations” is spelled incorrectly.
"The email also was a trigger as well,” Davis said. “Her email was not like a travel agent it was a personal email. That's something I should have paid attention to."
First Coast News called Moore, who said she's not licensed to work as a travel agent in Florida. She said she works for an agent at InteleTravel, promoting travel deals. InteleTravel's website indicates they help people become at-home travel agents. First Coast News reached out to InteleTravel after hours but did not receive a response.
Moore told First Coast News some of the trips have not gone through. She admitted she had another client book a trip to Vegas and was unable to check into their hotel.
Before you book, make sure the agent is working with a state-regulated company. You can check this In Florida, anyone selling or promoting travel is regulated through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Also, check the value of the trip for the money. Double check the details when you're paying way below the normal cost.
Also, legitimate travel agencies do not typically demand you make payments in cash and accept credit cards.
"Cash App is more for family and friends,” Davis said her bank told her. “It's not for business purposes at all."
Davis said she learned her lesson, and hopes no one else makes the same mistake. She said she's planning on filing a police report, and has already filed for a fraud investigation with her bank.