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Tourist Flights to Mars
This story is five years old (dating back to 1998) but someone just sent it to me anyway. It details what appears to be a case of extreme gullibility. But a search on Lexis-Nexis for any newspaper report of this scam occurring in the past twenty years turned up nothing—except for skeptical references to this same email. So I've got to conclude that the case this email describes is just an urban legend. This person posting on SpaceFuture.com's message board back in 1998 agrees. Here's the text of the email:

More than 600 people in Italy wanted to ride in a spaceship badly enough to pay
$10,000 a piece for the first tourist flight to Mars. According to the Italian
police, the would-be space travelers were told to spend their "next vacation on
Mars, amid the splendors of ruined temples and painted deserts. Ride a Martian
camel from oasis to oasis and enjoy the incredible Martian sunsets. Explore
mysterious canals and marvel at the views. Trips to the moon also available."
Authorities believe that the con men running this scam made off with over six
million dollars.
Exploration/Travel
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 14, 2003
This sounds ripped off from Total Recall or something to me. Most of the pitch, anyway.
Posted by Who?  in  Where?  on  Sun May 14, 2006  at  11:25 AM
Well said...!!!!!

Shelly Smith..
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flights to Melbourne
Posted by flights to Melbourne  on  Wed Dec 30, 2009  at  12:46 AM
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