A friend today gave my partner and me this Christmas present. That's right, "a fantastic trip for two people to Venice". He'd won the 'prize' after entering some sort of competition in one of the local newspapers and didn't fancy going to Venice himself.
Too good to be true? It sure is. Just one look at the 'voucher' told me it's a scam. Our poor friend had not, as he genuinely believed, given us a lovely holiday in Venice (it's not even free). Far from it. A quick Google search on "sugar reef travel scam" confirmed what I suspected. It seems that people applying for the holiday offer may be asked, at very short notice, to fly to their holiday destination from an airport at the other side of the country at impossible times. Also common are stories about lengthy timeshare sales talks that people have to sit through. There's an interesting discussion about The Sugar Reef Travel Club on the Money Saving Expert website which includes links to press releases on the website of the Office of Fair Trading (the owner of Sugar Reef, Lisa De-Ville Bradshaw, is well known for running holiday scams) and an article in This is Money explaining how the scams work in more detail.
No escaping to Venice for Christmas then…p>