Special Report: Women scammed by travel agency

CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - It was supposed to be a weekend away with girlfriends, but several South Carolina women say they paid money for a trip they never got to take. Now they want their cash back.
How can you prevent yourself from something like this?

Four friends from Camden had their bags packed, all paid to see Beyonce in New Orleans for the fourth of July.

"Getting to see Beyonce, all that good stuff, I'm serious you know," said Elizabeth Shaw.

"I had packed, I had bought new clothes, I had spent money," said Nikia Evans.

They found a great deal online from the Travel Divas travel agency in Charlotte and paid $380 each using PayPal online.

The night before the trip, the ladies received an email from travel divas letting them know the trip was canceled. The reason was "hotel issues."

"The night before it's time to go and you're going to tell me the trip's canceled?" asked Shaw.

"It was disbelief, it was disgusting," said Evans.

No Beyonce, no Big Easy, and then it got worse: the ladies never got a refund.

"For somebody ... just feel like they can just run off with my hard-earned money?" asked Shaw.

Columbia's Better Business Bureau says Travel Divas' trip was likely a scam.

"Unfortunately there are more scams going on now then have been in quite some time," said Jim Camp of the Better Business Bureau.

Camp says at minimum you should check out the company on the BBB's website before making a purchase.  

"Do your research up front," said Camp. "Know who it is you're dealing with and make sure of their reputation."

The Better Business Bureau website grades Travel Divas with an F.

Without an expectation of seeing their money, the ladies still have dancing in the living room and a lesson to share with others.

"People, just beware," said Shaw.

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