West Chester woman charged with scamming people into buying fake vacation packages

Jim Melwert
December 11, 2019 - 4:20 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A West Chester woman is accused of scamming dozens of people with fake vacation packages, including a cancer patient who wanted to go to Disney World.

The attorney general’s office says 38-year-old Christine Hayes used fake names to communicate with people through email to sell them vacation packages that mostly went unfulfilled.

Hayes is charged with a dozen felonies including identity theft and deceptive business practices.

According to the criminal complaint, Pennsylvania State Police identified more than 100 people who had been caught up in the scam, but it says some of them didn’t want to be involved in the investigation as they’d been repaid.

The attorney general’s office says she sold about $400,000 worth of discounted vacation deals, but then failed to follow through. In some cases, the office says, she used credit card information from one person to buy plane tickets for someone they didn’t know. 

In one case, a family bought a travel package to Disney World for a cancer patient, and when that family expressed concern the trip hadn’t been booked yet, the attorney general’s office says Hayes claimed she had breast cancer, which the office alleges was an attempt to buy herself more time.

Hayes has already waived her preliminary hearing and is set for a formal arraignment next month.