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Chapter 15. Scams > Travel Fraud

Travel Fraud

I’ll bet that you, like me, have “won” a fantastic free or ridiculously low-cost vacation. Whether you learned of your “good fortune” by way of a telemarketer, an e-mail, a fax or a postcard, the old adage continues to be true. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. Even the “free” trip is rarely free. The deals are generally fraught with hidden charges, conditions and additional fees you must pay to receive the trip you think you were promised. The trip you actually get can look quite different from what you anticipated. It is never a good idea to give your credit card number or bank account information to anyone over the phone if you are not absolutely sure who that person is. Unscrupulous travel con men may say they need that information for verification purposes only. They are lying.

If you are still interested in the vacation package, do not fall prey to high-pressure sales tactics by which they insist that you must act immediately. Take your time. Check out the company with the consumer protection division of your state’s Attorney General’s office as well as the Federal Trade Commission, but even that may not be enough, because these companies often merely change their names and it is not to protect the innocent.


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