West Valley teacher out $1,200

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

A West Valley school teacher is out $1,200 after she thought she was getting a vacation bargain.

Nancy Petronovich likes to travel as much as she can. 

"My favorite place is St. Lucia,” she told 3 On Your Side.

After teaching school for more than 30 years she likes to reward herself from the day-to-day grind.

"Well, you come home and either you get on the computer and do things for your class or you're making contact with their parents,” Petronovich said.

So, when Petronovich got a travel advertisement over the fax machine she got excited because a luxury vacation sounded perfect.

So did the price.

"Well, I thought it was a great deal and I jumped on it right away," she said.

The offer came from a company called Encore Tours and Travel based out of Texas. 

According to the fax, she could take a four-night trip to the Dominican Republic for less than $200.

It sounded so good that a half dozen of Petronovich's co-workers wanted in and told her to contact Encore Tours and Travel to book a spring break getaway for everyone.

"Oh, I was so excited. I've never been to the Dominican Republic,” Petronovich said. “Awesome! Lying on the beach and seeing some place new."

Encore Tours and Travel told Petronovich that in order to keep their prices down they did not accept credit cards, but if she gave them her bank account number her bank could just issue them a check.

Petronovich agreed and almost $1,200 of her money was given to Encore Tours and Travel. This was enough to cover her and her friends’ big vacation.

"Well, it probably was one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made in a very long time," Petronovich said.

She said after they got that money, Encore Tours and Travel stopped taking her phone calls and eventually disconnected their number.

The Better Business Bureau shows Encore Tours and Travel has an “F” rating.

3 On Your Side tried calling all of their known numbers, but no one answered.

So, we went to their Houston address where they're reportedly located out of and found it was a UPS store and their suite number 403 was simply the number of their mailbox.

Petronovich said it's a lesson -- a $1,200 lesson.

"If it's too good to be true, it probably is," she said.