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copyright ©2004 North Dakota Republican Party

12/12/2003

VACATION SCAM OPERATING AT LOCAL CRAFT FAIRS

BISMARCK

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today issued a Cease and Desist Order against Cape Canaveral Tour and Travel, Inc., doing business as E-Tour and Travel, Inc.

The company is offering various Florida vacation packages including a trip for 4 people for $498.

The company contacts consumers who signed up at booths at exhibit halls and craft shows across the state. "The company has been taking advantage of the numerous holiday craft shows. Representatives approach people as they enter the exhibit, often implying that registration was necessary to view the exhibits or to take a count of attendance. Consumers unwittingly sign up because they believe they may win a free trip. Instead, they are simply agreeing to receive one of these annoying or questionable solicitations," Stenehjem said.

The company has misrepresented to consumers that the Attorney General has approved the company to offer its services and travel package in North Dakota. In addition, the company's sales representatives have misrepresented to consumers that they were a selected winner from among a limited number of consumers eligible to receive the solicitation or offer.

"I am highly concerned that the solicitation specifically represents or implies that I have approved either this company or its product. I have not approved this company, its sales practices, its vacation plans or products," Stenehjem said.

Stenehjem indicated that he does not approve or endorse any business, and it is a consumer fraud violation for any business to state that he does approve or endorse any company. "Consumers have been misled with these solicitations and my Consumer Protection Division is investigating," Stenehjem said.

Violations of the Cease and Desist Order may result in civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation. Each solicitation in violation of the order is a separate violation.

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