Post Content

Are you one of those consumers that can’t pass up a good vacation deal? While some of these deals are legitimate and a great value for your buck, many others are deceptive offers posted by scammers posing as online travel agencies or homeowners renting a property that are really trying to take your money. And in return, you get nothing but frustration! Be a smart consumer and do your homework before you purchase your next ticket!

Here are a few tips that can help you prevent being scammed:

  • Research the company before you make your reservation(s) to verify that they are accredited and reputable. Websites such as the Better Business Bureau are a good place to start. Be sure to read ratings and reviews. If there are more negative reviews than positive, you may want to use a different company.
  • Don’t click on pop-up ads and avoid clicking links from emails you receive. Enter the company name into your web browser and find the website that way. And make sure your computer’s security features are up to date! They can help filter out scam emails and websites before you even click on them.
  • Is the business being upfront about their products, services, and prices? You should know exactly what you are paying for and how much it will be. If the company cannot answer basic questions about your itinerary, lodging, prices, etc. Walk away.
  • Read the fine print! Terms and conditions usually include mention of added fees and taxes that aren’t advertised in the low price.
  • Don’t be pressured into the purchase. Salespeople want to make a sale and travel prices can fluctuate so there is often an urgency to lock in the lowest price, but if the pressure to buy seems more than the normal course of business, be warned.
  • Get receipts for everything and use a credit card whenever possible. Credit cards have more consumer protections built in should something go wrong and receipts can be very helpful in proving your claims.
  • Confirm your airline and hotel accommodations yourself. A woman in Chicago recently realized she was out over $10,000 after a fake travel agency booked her flight tickets and took the money intended to pay for her cruise tickets and disappeared.
  • Consider travel insurance. But be cautious as some offers of travel insurance could be fake as well. Avoid offers that are advertised through blast faxes, spam e-mails, Internet pop-ups or signs posted on telephone poles, and those that cost significantly less than competitors.
  • Be wary of incredibly cheap offers. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Book trips and rental properties through the company website and communicate using the company’s internal messaging or email system. If someone contacts you with an outside email or phone number, be suspicious.

For more information on avoiding travel scams, check out some of our other blogs:

Vacation Scams Are On The Rise, Here’s How To Avoid Them

Consumer Advisory: Vacation Rentals

Hotel Front Desk Scam

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

What to Do If You Buy a Car That is a Lemon posted on May 21

What to Do If You Buy a Car That is a Lemon

Roadways are seeing a lot less traffic these days as businesses remain shuttered and much of the state is adhering to the stay-at-home policy initiated by Governor Baker’s state of emergency. Just the same, people have continued to shop for and purchase cars during the   …Continue Reading What to Do If You Buy a Car That is a Lemon

Show Me the Money posted on May 7

Show Me the Money

On March 25th President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package which included an emergency universal income payment of $1,200 for most Americans who earn under $75,000 a year. The IRS will make prorated payments to those making up to $99,000 a year.   …Continue Reading Show Me the Money

Suiting Up to Protect Essential Workers and the Public posted on May 1

Suiting Up to Protect Essential Workers and the Public

Dressing for work has taken on a whole new meaning in the time of a global pandemic. Where it once would have been considered inappropriate to show up in public with your face covered, the opposite is now true especially for the Massachusetts’ essential workers   …Continue Reading Suiting Up to Protect Essential Workers and the Public