A 43-year-old Whitby woman is facing charges after she acted like a travel agent and fraudulently sold vacations, Durham police say.
in Oct. 2020, Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) started an investigation after receiving reports that a woman was impersonating a travel agent and was “kiting.”
“Kiting is a common type of fraud in the travel industry, where an agent collects cash payments from clients and doesn’t apply the money to the client’s vacation, but rather pockets the cash,” police wrote in a news release on Monday.
Police say the woman had participated in kiting between 2011 and 2019, using a fake TICO certificate and defrauded several travel agencies of more than $245,000.
She owns her own travel business called “Travel Girl Inc” and has used over 21 aliases, according to police. She claims to specialize in group travel and destination weddings.
Tarcia Craig Brown has been charged with: Fraud Exceeding $5000, Use Computer to Commit Computer Offence, Intercept Computer Functions, Unauthorized Use of Credit Card Data, Forgery and Utter Forged Documents.
She was released on an undertaking.
The police are appealing for any witnesses or victims to come forward and have released a list of aliases.
The police are also reminding the public to search travel companies on the TICO’s website with the TICO number to confirm a travel agent’s validity.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact D/Cst. Middleton of the Financial Crimes Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5321. Anonymous tips can also be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca.