SALT LAKE CITY — When the weather warms and families come out to play, they’re not the only ones gearing up for a great summer vacation. Scammers slither out in force and they have some pretty incredible ways of separating would-be vacationers from their money and ruining plans.
The Deseret News has combed the web to find the scams that readers are most likely to encounter. There are also some “iffy” practices, whether or not they are actual scams. But be alert and summer play time will be a lot more enjoyable. These suggestions are taken from the Federal Trade Commission, The Better Business Bureau, Experian and others reliable sources:
• Avoid or at least be cautious with “discount travel” companies and offers from third-party companies. Some push consumers to be impulsive, then take a credit card or debit card number and may either not provide the level of service promised or not come through with service at all. If you’re not familiar with a company, look for reviews, warnings and other information, or vet them with a consumer protection source like the Better Business Bureau. Try a web search of the company’s name and the word “scam” to see if anything interesting or disturbing appears.
• “Free” vacations offers are quite apt to be a money-dropping illusion. If you’re asked to pay a big fee up front or provide your credit card number, it isn’t really free, is it? Keep your credit card digits to yourself in this case.
• The FTC says if you get cold-called with what seems like a good offer, check with the attorney general’s office in the company’s home state and with local consumer protection agencies. Google them, too. If they won’t wait for you to check them out, you don’t want to do business with them.
• The FTC says a travel club that pressures you to sign up “right now” or miss out is one you should walk away from right now. “Travel clubs often have high membership fees and limited choice of destinations or travel dates.”
• Responding to robocalls that kick off vacation planning are a bad idea — and “almost always illegal if you haven’t given the company written permission to call,” says the FTC.
• The U.S. Department of Transportation lists approved public chartered flights. Look it up. Also, check the charter’s reputation with local travel agents or ask the …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News