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January 20, 2013  
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76-year-old charged in alleged plane ticket scam
By QMI Agency


(Shutterstock)

MONTREAL -- In his 32-year-career, Real Coallier says he's never heard of an alleged 76-year-old fraudster.

"Usually, it's elderly people who are defrauded," said Coallier, the regional director for Quebec's consumer protection bureau.

Coallier was referring to Shirley Perez, a former travel agent, who police arrested in late November after allegedly receiving 31 complaints against her. Police said Perez allegedly defrauded dozens of people who bought fake plane tickets to the tune of $80,000.

Police say they suspect Perez used her experience selling legal travel packages as a way to convince people she was legit. Some of her alleged victims were former clients.

One of those alleged victims is Jacqueline Chavez, who told QMI Agency that a friend suggested she contact Perez to buy a cheap plane ticket to Mexico.

Chavez told QMI Agency she met Perez at a chain rotisserie chicken restaurant in Montreal in November where Perez allegedly offered her a plane ticket for $890 cash - a bargain for that time of year.

Chavez said Perez told her the electronic ticket would be sent soon after payment.

But it never arrived.

Quebec's consumer protection bureau charged Perez with four counts of selling travel packages without a license. Each charge carries a $2,000 fine.

Quebec's consumer office told QMI Agency that its insurance arm usually covers consumers who have been defrauded by travel agents.

However, the office said that Perez's alleged victims might not qualify for coverage because Perez was not a licensed agent when she allegedly committed the fraud.



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