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Consumer Information

Too good to be true
Consumer Information

Donít Get Taken While On Vacation

Travel has always been a concern to consumers due to the high potential for fraud. It seems tourists and vacationers are prime targets for scammers. Avoid being taken in before you take off and guard yourself against these common travel scams.

  • No Fly Fraud - In this common scam unsuspecting victims are promised fares at extremely low rates. Once they hand over their hard-earned cash no confirmation is received due the the fact that no real ticket is ever issued. In some cases customers actually purchase tickets and are then told their credit card has been declined. Victims are offered the option to perform a wire transfer of funds which still results in no ticket for the would-be vacationer.

  • Bungalow Bait & Switch - Craigslist is awash with these sorts of scams. Typically the victim scours listings on craigslist for an attractive vacation rental and finds one with the right amenities at a very low price. A deposit is placed on the unit which is either non-existent or not as described. Rarely is there any recourse for renters to recover their funds in these situations.
  • Timeshare Two-step -Timeshares are generally sold to unsuspecting buyers using high pressure sales tactics. Buyers are promised high-end free gifts that never materialize and in some cases buyers arrive to discover that the timeshare is no longer available due to the company going out of business.
  • Dubious Vacation Deals - Crooks advertise luxurious vacation packages at super low rates. Travelers taking advantage of these deals end up being taken advantage of by significant additional fees or extreme misrepresentation of available amenities.

    Travelers can take steps to protect themselves by being vigilant. Here are a few helpful tips to avoid being a victim instead of a vacationer.

    1. Unsolicited emails, phone calls, and other communications announcing too good to be true deals are usually scams. Thereís no such thing as a free lunch and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
    2. Always get your travel details in writing when working with any travel agency. Never take anyoneís word for anything. Vague promises about five star resorts and luxury accommodations at cut rate prices are huge warning signs.
    3. If you havenít entered any contest it is highly unlikely that you can win anything. When prizes are awarded legitimately it never leads to giving up your credit card number. Never pay a fee to collect a prize.
    4. Travel clubs offering free memberships never do anything but take your money. You will come out better by searching for the best rates yourself through a reputable resource.
    5. Always use your credit card when purchasing a vacation. Never wire funds. You can always dispute the charges if you feel that youíve been swindled.
    6. Timeshare deals always involve high pressure sales pitches and seminars. There are always fees and traps and they are never good deals.
    7. If you plan to travel overseas inform your credit card company. This will protect your wallet against unscrupulous individuals who may obtain your credit card information while you are traveling. Let them know when you plan to leave and when you plan to return.

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