Travel Scams FAQ

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Are there any general rules to follow to avoid being the victim of a travel scam?

As with most things in life, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That being said, here are some signs to watch out for:

  • The solicitation says that you were "specially selected" or "awarded" a trip or prize, but you haven't entered any contest.
  • You must make a payment to collect your prize.
  • The salesperson uses high pressure sales tactics or insists on an immediate decision.
  • You must disclose your income, Social Security number, bank account number, or other private information.
  • The company offers great bargains, but refuses to put the details in writing unless you pay first.
  • The salesperson makes vague references to "all major airlines" or "all major hotels," without saying which ones you will use.
  • You must wait more than 60 days before taking the trip or receiving the prize. (Most scam victims pay for their "prize" on their credit card; scam artists know that you must dispute any credit card charge within 60 days. If they force you to wait more than 60 days, you can't challenge the charge.)
  • The caller asks for your credit card number over the phone.
  • The company requests a direct bank deposit or certified check or offers to send a courier to your home to pick up your check.
  • The deal cannot be booked through a travel agent.
  • You must call a 900 number.
  • The company cannot provide the names of references, or the references you call repeat nearly verbatim the claims of the travel provider.

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