BBB Alert: Travel Scams Circulating
Consumers report phony checks, boarding passes or ticket offers taunt their sensibilities
Buffalo, NY – If ever there was a winter to prompt a getaway – this was it. As Spring truly arrives for Upstate New Yorkers many will be planning their summer getaways. Consider the U.S. Travel Association is forecasting travel expenditures to increase to more than $940 billion in 2014 and Better Business Bureau serving Upstate New York is warning travelers to shop smart.
While travel clubs and travel agencies gear up for a big season, BBB reports over 10,000 complaints were filed last year for the industry. This includes only consumers who took steps to resolve their disputes yet thousands more were likely hit by opportunities that sounded great but fell far flat or worse – stole their cash with no recourse.
“We typically see travel scam offers this time of year but consumers can expect even more of these so called deals,” said Warren Clark, President of Better Business Bureau serving Upstate New York. “Scammers know how hard Northeast weather hit us these past few months and they’re hoping the weary will take their well-crafted bait. The look and sound of these smooth talking deals can lead consumers down a path of regret. We’re encouraging anyone looking to travel to start with trust and to make their plans with reputable companies.”
Consumers report to BBB receiving direct mail offers for cruises and trips including lookalike boarding passes and travel checks. Other offers include free airfare and destination vacations by calling a 1-800 number. When consumers called they heard free trips were offered so the company could build word-of-mouth advertising. Sound plausible? BBB says beware of slick pitches, hidden fees, fine print and potential shady experiences even though the images look lovely.
Consumers are advised to take several steps before responding to one of these offers.
BBB offers the following tips when planning a vacation:
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