Global Fantasies: European tourist scammed out of US $26,000
From FECTABís protest on the current state of cruise tourism, to widespread objection to another growing sector of the industry, sex tourism.†† That niche market sells in premiere destinations all over the world. But is it selling in Belize? And is a provider called Global Fantasies on the up and up? Itís a story weíve been following for some time now. The website offers sea, sun, sand and sex, with pictures of scantily clad women waiting to fulfill lustful fantasies. Itís been established that some of the women are Belizean, but their pictures were pulled from other reputable sites, basically stolen to sell a Belizean dream. But is any of it real, or is it just a huge scam? On Thursday we told you about a European visitor who bought into the fantasy package in a big way. He started planning for his odyssey on Caribbean shores from October 2013, but that dream turned into a nightmare. To protect his identity weíll call him Ricky, and tonight we have part two of his story.
Mike Rudon, Reporting
By December Ricky was finalizing the last details of his trip to his promised sex haven, beautiful Belize. He had paid a total of twenty-four thousand, six hundred and eighty US dollars by wire to Michael Smith, representing Global Fantasies. He had also been booked into Captain Morganís retreat on San Pedro. But Ricky didnít want to stay there for two weeks. Since the companyís website had boasted of exotic island getaways on Turneffe Island, Ricky decided he would spend his second week there.
But on December sixteenth, he was informed by Mike Smith that Turneffe was not really doable, since it was expensive to get there, and there was only one resort on the island. In addition, he was told that his sex kitten would not be welcome there. That was the first hint of trouble, and Ricky accused Smith of misinformation. That led to a heated exchange of emails, with Ricky trying to confirm that all the excursions and amenities promised in his VIP package were indeed covered.
On January eleventh, the frustrated European told Mike Smith that he had just decided to stay in Captain Morganís for the two weeks, and on January fourteenth, Mike Smith responded that he was confirmed at that resort for the second week, but he would have to pay for his stay there. Since Ricky had already paid nearly twenty-five thousand dollars, that didnít sit well.
By this time Ricky sensed that his fantasy adventure was turning into harsh reality, and that was confirmed by Mike Smith in an email on January sixteenth. Smith claimed that because Ricky took so long to decide that he would stay a second week at the resort, the manager had not authorized the debit. And then he added in some famous last words Ė ďDonít worry, I will reimburse you afterwards.Ē
From there we fast-forward to January thirtieth, with Ricky back in Europe after his Belizean odyssey. In that email to Smith, he is demanding a refund of twenty-three thousand, four hundred and ninety-seven dollars. Thatís the amount he paid to Smith, less one thousand one hundred and eighty-three dollars paid to Captain Morganís for a weekís stay.
The rest is history, with Ricky demanding his money and threatening Smith in continuous emails. At the beginning, Smith reminds him that there is no refund for any reason, and vaguely makes an offer of a stay at the Thailand destination at some time in the future to make up. But it degenerates from thereÖwith threats thrown back and forth. At one point Smith, to whom the money was wired, states that it is not his company and all they can do is fire him, and he doesnít care about that.
On February eighteenth, Smith tries something new. In an email to Ricky he claims that it is Captain Morganís that is the culprit that defrauded both of them, wanting twenty thousand US for some tours.
As we said, the rest is history. Ricky is still trying to get his money back from Michael Smith and Global Fantasies, and we wish him much luck with that.
In case youíre wondering, Ricky did visit Belize. He arrived on January twenty-third and spent a week at Captain Morganís. He never did get to meet the sex kittens, or at least none provided by Global Fantasies. He returned to Europe after one week.
So is Global Fantasies for real or is it a scam? We figure itís somewhere in the shoddy middle. From what we found out during this investigation, sex tourism is alive in Belize. We believe there are women available for hire, and resorts willing to look the other way. Itís certainly not at the level promised by the erotic adventure provider, but it does exist. Thatís another story for another time. Mike Rudon for News Five.
After a comprehensive online investigation of Global Fantasies, we havenít come up with much in the way of concrete information. There have been a few reviews relating very similar experiences as that Ricky had, in destinations like Colombia and Costa Rica. The name Michael Smith keeps coming up as the contact, but other than that, thereís little on paper.