Consumers lose millions of dollars each year to phony travel companies which offer, but don't deliver, promised fabulous vacations at low prices. There are a number of precautions that can be taken to avoid these costly and unpleasant rip-offs.
Always buy vacation travel from a business that you know and trust. It is also wise to get the details of your vacation in writing and a copy of the cancellation and refund policies. Be extremely skeptical about postcard and phone solicitations that say you've been selected to receive a fabulous vacation. Never give out your credit card number to someone you don't know.
Beware of offers from "card mill," companies which sell questionable travel agent credentials. Consumers are led to believe that such cards will allow them to travel at free or reduced fares. Organizations making these offers are known throughout the travel industry as "card mills" because they routinely offer travel agent credentials by the thousands in the form of an identification card that is sold for a fee. Many suppliers of travel, however, do not accept them.
Telemarketing travel offers are too often scams. They originate out of "boiler rooms" where skilled salespeople, often with years of experience, are selling false products and services over the phone. These pitches include oral misrepresentations, high-pressure tactics, and "affordable offers."
The best things that consumers can do to protect themselves are to remain wary of the offers, don't allow themselves to get pressured, and continuously ask questions and gather information.
What To Do If You Are A Victim
If you are a victim of a travel scam, you may click here to file a formal complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.
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