Beware of scams directed to tour guides

Colleagues,

This post is to provide insight into fraudulent attempts, via the internet, to scam tour guides. Of course, do continue to receive, communicate with, and accept contract work with individuals requesting your tour guiding service via the internet, but be cautious. Look for red flags that give you concern that the pending project may be a scam.

Some of you may have read my November 24 post to the LVTGG Facebook page suggesting that members and colleagues do not communicate, contract or accept funds to provide service to Mr. Ranger.

I communicate by email with many prospects who submit inquiries to my websites. On occasion I am asked if I will accept credit card payments in excess of my service fee, then return the excess deposit by check. I inform the prospect that I do not accept credit cards, and if I did I would only accept the amount of my service.

Some weeks ago I received a request for service in November. A range of dates was furnished by the prospect during his extended stay in Las Vegas. We agreed on two full days of touring with the prospect and his three quests. By email I provided suggested itineraries, my rate, a list of client responsibilities, and instruction to mail me a non-refundable deposit.

Everything proceeded without concern until I received a Priority Mail envelope containing only a cashier check. There was no note explaining who sent the envelope, and the check. I researched my pending project proposal file, but could not match the amount of the check with any correspondence. I researched emails received while I was traveling, and found correspondence that matched a prospect name in my pending project proposal file.

I emailed the prospect and acknowledged that I received the deposit he cited in earlier correspondence. He proceeded to explain why the envelope contained a cashier check greater than the amount I requested. He related that he instructed an individual to go to the bank and purchase two cashier checks, one in the amount of our contract for two full day tours, and another for $XXXX.XX. I was told the individual made a mistake and purchased one cashier check in the amount of the $XXXX.XX and mailed it to me.

The prospect requested me to deposit the cashier check, then send a check, excluding my contract service fee plus $50 to cover shipping, to a sibling via FedEx. I informed the prospect that I will return his cashier check, and he can pay me cash on the first day of his scheduled tour. He again requested me to deposit the check, insisting that it would clear within a couple days and I could then send money to his sibling. I informed the prospect that I would not send money to anyone until the check cleared my bank.

I deposited the cashier check, and four days later I received notice from my bank that the check was not negotiable, and that they adjusted my bank account accordingly, plus a return check fee. Immediately I emailed the prospect, notified him that the cashier check was not negotiable; that I would confer with the Attorney General of the State of Nevada; and that I would not be at the designated hotel on the day agreed to provide tour guiding service to him and his guests. I did not receive a reply to my email.

I have since learned that software is available for anyone to print cashier checks. I, and I presume many others, have believed that cashier checks are negotiable because they are issued after cash is delivered to a bank teller. Question, if cashier checks can be printed, can the same be true for money orders? Discussion with a bank employee suggests that Western Union or a bank Transfer of Funds (domestic or international) may be a safer route.

Please exercise caution. The majority of contacts received via the internet are legitimate. Remain professional in all communication. If you become concerned, it may be best to inform the prospect that you have a conflict and are no longer available to provide service.

Art Chesmore, CPTG

 

 

 

Welcome IATDG to Fabulous Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild is pleased to welcome the 2018 International Association of Tour Directors and Guides (IATDG) Annual Conference of Group Tour Gurus to Fabulous Las Vegas!

The LVTGG welcomes the 2018 IATDG Annual Conference to Fabulous Las Vegas

The conference is taking place at the South Point from November 11 through November 15. Along with our partners at the LVCVA, we’re excited for the opportunity to share and explore some of our city’s vibrant history, sights, and attractions with our IATDG colleagues. We have a fleet of buses ready to roll, our Las Vegas guides standing by, and a list of shows, sites, and attractions rolling out the red carpet.  Sunshine fun, blue skies, and sandstone mountains meets 24/7 entertainment, glittering lights, and neon nights. Welcome IATDG!

National Travel and Tourism Week 2018 Rally – May 8

TRAVEL RALLY DAY
“Then & Now” Extravaganza Show

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 | 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Fremont Street Experience Third Street Stage

Join the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor Authority (LVCVA) and your colleagues with the Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild (LVTGG) in celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week. This is a chance for the entire community to show their support for the economic importance of travel and tourism to Southern Nevada. The official color for Travel Rally Day is RED so we encourage everyone to GO RED at the National Travel and Tourism Week’s main event.

We ask our members, industry partners, and community businesses to show support for Tourism and Travel on Tuesday, May 8 at the Fremont Street Experience Third Street Stage. The LVCVA is hosting its annual Travel Rally Day by celebrating our local community and visitors who make Las Vegas the world’s best destination for leisure and business travel. This year’s event, led by Host Committee Chairman Oscar Goodman and iconic showgirls, will include a “Then & Now” Extravaganza Show with performances by Frank Sinatra and Elvis impersonators followed by a final performance from local top 40’s band, Zowie Bowie. Locals and tourists will have the opportunity to win special giveaways from hotels, shows and attractions. There will also be a chance to win drink tickets and VIP passes to the Four Queens Hotel’s private patio for free appetizers and an open bar during the rally only.  

Celebrate our #1 industry in Southern Nevada: Tourism! 

@LVCVAImpact / #TourismMatters / #NTTW18

 

The RJ publishes a reader quiz in conjuction with the LVTGG

The RJ, Las Vegas’s daily newspaper, published an online quiz in coordination with the LVTGG entitled “Can you pass the test to become a certified Vegas tour guide?” The quiz has 15 multiple choice and true/false questions covering a range of topics that a certified Las Vegas guide would know.

We’re excited to have been asked to participate in putting together this quiz, and know it will be good fun for our members and the community. LVTGG certified guides will likely notice that, unlike the guild’s class and testing, the RJ’s quiz doesn’t have any questions relating to the practical tour guide skills a certified Las Vegas tour guide must have, such as how to manage and speak with groups, location and transportation knowledge, working with tour companies and DMCs, and much more, but it’s all in good fun so we’ll let that slide 🙂

So, have at it LVTGG members! You can take the quiz here: Can you pass the test to become a Certified Vegas Tour Guide?

If you’ve passed the LVTGG training class, we’re expecting 100% scores from you!

If you’re interested in the LVTGG’s training program, more information can be found here. The dates of the next session have not been set, but if you express your interest, we will advise when the next class dates are scheduled. Note that one must be a member of the guild to take the class, and that tour guide experience is a necessary qualification to obtaining certification from the LVTGG.

Keep on Traveling ~ the LVTGG Training Team

Basic First Aid Training – Mon. June 12, 2017 6 PM

The Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild in partnership with Red Rock Search & Rescue (RRSAR) is pleased to offer an intensive Basic First Aid Training Program for LVTGG members, colleagues, family, and friends.

The training will take place on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 6:00 PM, details below.

The cost is $30 per person, all of which will go directly to the 100% volunteer, not-for profit RRSAR to support the incredible and impressive work they do for our community, Southern Nevada, and Utah.  For more info on RRSAR, see www.redrocksar.org.

The training has been been organized by RRSAR Commander Donald Moore and will be led by Vice-Commander Smith, Retired Fire Department Battalion Chief. During the training, Chief Smith will focus on plans of action relevant for our tour guide members.  Moore says, “in this one 3.5 hour training, members will walk away with a 2 day class under their belts.”

This valuable, one-of-a-kind training has been coordinated exclusively for the Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild, and is not offered through other CPR training workshops.

We will be learning American Heart Association CPR/AED and first aid. After completing the class and brief test, class members will receive a certification card.

This class is far more than your typical tabletop CPR training class! Guided by certified First Aid Instructors with years of practical experience, participants will have hands-on practice performing CPR and using the defibrillator, and also practice splinting and bleeding control. All medical supplies will be provided by RRSAR.

Please read the information below and:

RSVP to LVTGG President Babs Daitch at thanksbabs@gmail.com with the email heading “June 12 LVTGG Basic First Aid Training Program.”

For questions regarding the content of training, please contact Donald Moore at 702 591-4298 or by email at strummingmyguitar@gmail.com.

Please dress for comfort.  Jeans and a tee shirt are perfect.

Date:  Monday June 12th

Time: 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Location:  340 Villa Monterey Drive Las Vegas, NV 89145  Located near Buffalo & Alta

MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/XnyR1u73M672

Donation for the class: $30.00 per person.

How to pay: Please have your check, or exact cash, ready when signing in to the class.  Please make checks out to Red Rock SAR.

Who can attend: LVTGG Members, tour guide and other colleagues. Please also print and post on your office bulletin boards, and invite spouses and friends who want to learn how to help themselves and others in an emergency first aid situation. However, class capacity is 30 so RSVP is mandatory.

Time for Fun & Learning! Tour Boost Improv Workshop – April 17, 2017

Tour Boost Improv Workshop for Tour Guides, Docents & Storytellers

Members and non-members are invited to attend the Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild’s exceptional April continuing education event, “The Tour Boost Workshop for Tour Guides, Docents, and Storytellers,” led by “Second City” tour guide and comedian, Margaret Hicks. The workshop will be held Tuesday, April 17, 2017 in the Stratosphere Tower’s 104th floor Sunrise Room. Again, this event is open to both guild members and non-members, so invite all your friends and colleagues. RSVP is required to attend, RSVP below.

Margaret has been guiding for 10 years and is the official docent of the famed Second City Improv Theater. During this two-hour interactive seminar, Margaret provides interactive Improv Games and on-your-feet training that connects guides to their emotions while boosting presentation skills. Margaret says this workshop is not about tour content but about how to be physically and mentally present, cultivate listening skills, flexibility and gratitude, and how to share information while finding the fun in your tours.

After the workshop, we will continue with a Stratoshpere Hotel-hosted tour of the upper levels of the Stratosphere Tower, and conclude with hosted appetizers and cocktails. RSVP is a must.

To RSVP: Send an email with the Subject “Tour Boost Improv Workshop for Tour Guides, Docents & Storytellers” to thanksbabs@gmail.com or call Babs for more information – 702.370.6961.

Date: Monday, April 17, 2017, 5:00 pm
Location: Stratosphere Hotel – Sunrise Room 104th Floor
Cost: $10 for LVTGG members, $20 for non-members. BRING CASH
Tour Boost Seminar Time: 5pm to 7pm
Stratosphere Tower hosted tour and LVTGG gathering with beverage and snacks to follow: 7pm to 830pm
Directions: Use escalator near Roxy’s Diner, pass thrill rides security to VIP security, take elevator to 104th Floor. If asked, tell them you are attending the LVTGG event in the Sunrise Room
(there is no charge to access the 104th floor)
Parking: Free in self-park or tip to Valet

Clear your schedule for this valuable and entertaining training. Invite colleagues that you work with or other storytellers.
RSVP Today!

For more info about The Tour Boost workshop, see http://www.thetourboost.com/

The Tour Boost Workshop, by Margaret Hicks