How to Avoid Travel Scams
Travel Scams are rampant nowadays that reports in these cases have reached wider scope from underdeveloped countries in Africa, developing cities like Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and even already developed countries and states like America. As your trusted travel consulting partner, Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours has listed some tips that you may follow on how to avoid scams and any other fraudulent acts there.
If you have been offered a great bargain on a cruise or resort vacation, but you cannot seem to get all the details unless you pay the company first, you may be dealing with a travel scam.
- Retain a healthy dose of skepticism. Be extremely skeptical about unsolicited e-mail, postcard and phone solicitations saying you've been selected to receive a fabulous vacation or anything free. Be especially wary of firms requiring you to wait at least 60 days to take your trip.
- Do your homework. Some offers might sound great on the surface, but be sure to read the fine-print. Certain offers impose so many requirements and restrictions, such as black-out dates and companion fees, that you will either never have the chance to take the trip or you will end up paying more than had you made the arrangements on your own. Remember, the devil is in the details
- Run a "background check." You should vet the companies from which you purchase travel services.
- Keep private information private. Never give out your credit card number unless you initiate the transaction and you are confident about the company with which you are doing business.
- Get the facts. You should receive complete details in writing about any trip prior to payment. These details should include the total price; cancellation and change penalties, if any; and specific information about all components of the package.
- Follow up. Once you have the complete details of your trip, contact the hotel and transportation companies on your own to make certain the reservations have been made.
- Know where you stand. If you insist on replying to an e-mail or calling a 900-number in response to a travel solicitation, understand the charges and know the risks.
- Know when to walk away. High-pressure sales presentations that don't allow you time to evaluate the offer, or which require that you disclose your income are red flags to be heeded.
- Protect yourself. Always pay with a credit card if possible. Even legitimate companies can go out of business. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, credit card customers have the right to refuse paying for charges for services not rendered.