BBB warns consumers about travel-related fraud

July 20, 2009

With vacation season in high gear, the Better Business Bureau is advising consumers on how to spot and avoid the threat of vacation and travel-related fraud.

Vacation scams cost consumers more than $10 billion each year. And out of the 3,900 industries the BBB monitors, the travel industry consistently ranks near or in the top 25 in terms of the number of complaints lodged against it.

To protect themselves against travel fraud, the BBB is urging consumers to ask detailed questions and get information about the airlines, hotels, car rental companies and travel providers in writing. Travelers should also consider contacting these businesses directly to verify the arrangements if they were made by a third party.

The BBB also suggests paying with a credit card if travelers are certain they are dealing with a reputable company. Credit card companies may allow consumers to dispute a charge within 60 days of purchase.

Finally, call the BBB or visit its web site at for a free reliability report on any travel company you are making arrangements with.