Tags: travel | scams

Travel Scams Target Cash-Strapped Consumers

Friday, 06 Nov 2009 10:06 AM

By Bruce Mandelblit

Share:
A    A   |
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink

It’s no secret that millions of Americans, between now and the New Year’s holidays, will hit the road, as well as get on planes and trains to visit their loved ones.

In fact, as the current recession hopefully winds down, and if gas and airfare prices remain stable, we can expect even more folks to travel over the coming months as compared to last year during the same time period.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns of possible travel scams of which all Americans should be aware.

According to the FTC, while some travel opportunities sold on the phone or offered through the mail, Internet, or fax are legitimate, many are, unfortunately, scams. The word "offer" can be a clue to possible hidden charges.

Here are the FTC tips on how to avoid travel scams:

Verify and clarify. Call to verify your reservations and arrangements. Get the details behind vague promises that you'll be staying at a "five-star" resort or sailing on a "luxury" cruise ship. When you have the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the airlines, car rental companies, and hotels you'll be using, confirm all arrangements which each vendor for yourself.

Put it on paper. Get the details of your vacation in writing. Get a copy of the company's cancellation and refund policies, and ask "What if . . ?" Consider whether some form of travel cancellation insurance may be appropriate.

Use a credit card to purchase your trip. If you don't get what you paid for, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company. However, don't give your account number to any business until you've verified that the business is reputable.

Avoid a travel club flub. Ask questions before joining a travel club. Sometimes, a "free trial" membership can result in unauthorized charges on your credit card. Find out what you'll get for your money and how you can cancel.

Slow down if you've won a "free" vacation. Scam artists may tell you you've won a "free" vacation, but then claim to need your credit card number for "verification." Tell 'em to take a hike. If the promotion is legitimate, you never need to pay for a prize.

For more details on these FTC travel scam tips, go to ftc.gov.

My Final Thoughts: Travel can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. During the fast-approaching holiday season, taking a trip to visit family members will create priceless and lasting memories.

Don’t let potential travel scam artists “steal” your travel fun and joy from you, not to mention your hard-earned cash. Especially during these rough economic times, you should use extreme caution to make sure you are dealing with legitimate travel professionals when planning for your holiday travel.

Copyright 2009 by Bruce Mandelblit

This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency and legal professional for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.

Bruce Mandelblit (www.CrimeZilla.com) is a nationally known security and safety journalist, as well as a recently retired, highly decorated reserve law enforcement officer. His e-mail address is CrimePrevention123@yahoo.com.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Bridge-gate Legal Fees Running Up to $340 an Hour for NJ Taxpayers

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 14:27 PM

New Jersey taxpayers are shelling out as much as $340 an hour for lawyers to represent five present or former staffers o . . .

Art Critic: Bush a Better Artist Than Thomas Kinkade

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 14:17 PM

Late "painter of light" Thomas Kinkade was a better technical painter than former President George W. Bush, says art cri . . .

Glenn Beck Developing History and Faith-Based Movies

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 13:39 PM

Conservative radio host Glenn Beck is developing three theatrical movies, including two with historical themes and one t . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved