Family out $65K after travel agency abruptly closes

It’s supposed to be the happiest day of bride-to-be Kristine Mello’s life.

“Words can’t explain what we’re going through,” said Mello’s fiancé, Jeff Ferreira.

The couple used Terry’s Travel, which was operating out of North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to book a destination wedding to Mexico for 47 people.

Altogether, they spent about $68,000.

But, when they started hearing of other customers’ reservations disappearing, they feared the worst.

“We thought the trip was booked because we saw the charge for a travel agency,” said Mello’s friend, Linda Cosme. “Ultimately, it wasn’t for our trip.”

Cosme, along with Mello’s sister Michelle, said that after looking into their credit card records, they saw that the travel agency owned by Natercia Sousa was using their money to pay for the trip she booked for previous customers.

The family doesn’t know how long this has been going on, but it seems the financial finagling has caught up with Sousa.

“My sister’s been crying since Saturday,” Michelle said. “She’s like, ‘What are we going to do? I hope this is a mistake.’”

NBC 10 News called Terry’s Travel and left the company voice messages, as well as email messages. None of them have been returned.

When NBC 10 visited the location in North Dartmouth, the door was locked. There was a sign on the window, which read, “Terry’s Travel is closed due to a family emergency.”

The family emergency that may be affecting the travel agent is certainly causing the Mello family, as well as others in the area, plenty of stress. They hope a GoFundMe page they set up can raise enough money to at least get some of the immediate family members to the wedding.

For now, they just hope to salvage some happy memories.

“That’s been our dream for six years already, and it’s been destroyed by Terry’s Travel,” said Ferreira.

The Attorney General’s office is looking into the situation, as well as at least three other incidents in the area.

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