Investigators from the Financial Crimes Unit have arrested and charged a 43-year-old female from Whitby after she fraudulently sold vacations.
The Financial Crimes Unit began an investigation in October 2020 after receiving reports that a female 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.
The female had been participating in this practice between 2011 and 2019, using a falsified 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. She claims to specialize in group travel and destination weddings.
Tarcia CRAIG BROWN, age 43, of Whitby is charged with: Fraud Exceeding $5000 x4, Use Computer to Commit Computer Offence x4, Intercept Computer Functions x4, Unauthorized Use of Credit Card Data x4, Forgery x5 and Utter Forged Document x6.
She was released on an Undertaking.
Police are appealing for any witnesses or victims to come forward. For a list of aliases click here.
As a reminder, when looking for a travel agent use a TICO certified agent, you can search travel companies on the TICO website with the TICO number to confirm validity at https://www.tico.ca/. Try and use a reputable agency, or an agent recommend by someone you know and trust.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact D/Cst. Middleton of the Financial Crimes Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5321.
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.