They were promised dream vacations at good prices only to find out later that they had been scammed out of thousands of dollars.

Officials announced this morning that they have filed a civil lawsuit against Dreamworks Vacation Club and related companies, which they said conned at least 200 people in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Also sued was owner Daryl T. Turner of Cherry Hill. A call to Turner's attorney was not immediately returned.

Consumers were promised expensive gifts to attend 90-minute sales presentations that promoted exotic vacations at reasonable prices, said David Szuchman, director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in New Jersey.

Collectively, the 200 people paid about $400,000 and received nothing, Szuchman said.

Prompted by complaints that originated in Burlington County, Consumer Affairs - which is under the Office of the Attorney General - launched an investigation that led to the lawsuit.

Szuchman said criminal charges may follow after the case is referred to investigators with the Attorney General and local prosecutors.

Anyone who thinks they may have been conned by the company is asked to contact authorities through their local Consumer Protection office or to file complaints with the division online at http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm. The division can also be reached at 800-242-5846.

Contact staff writer Barbara Boyer at 856-779-3838 or bboyer@phillynews.com.