When it come’s to travel, many people planning a vacation can often get sucked into something that is really nothing more than a scheme. Here are some things to be aware of when planning a vacation.
Smarter Traveler released these just recently and it could save you a lot of anxiety so be sure to check these out.
The top scam at the moment are vacation clubs. According to Consumer advocate, Christopher Elliott who has written a book entitled “Scammed”, he says that not any of these clubs are legitimate and that “Wholesale travel clubs claim that you’ll have access to incredibly cheap vacations if you join. However, once you pay the joining fees, you find that the deals offered aren’t any better than what you can find for yourself online—for free. Elliott advises that anyone considering joining a travel club do research with a very critical eye beforehand. Simply doing an Internet search for the name of the travel company plus the word “scam” will usually reveal a host of problems experienced by other members.
Another big scam are that of timeshares, actually speaking from a point of experience I can tell you that these are the worst, yet many vacationers have fallen prey to these scam artists who try to sell you these. Ed Perkins a contributing editor at Smarter Travel says this about timeshares., calls the upfront fees for selling your timeshare the biggest fraud going today. “Scammers promise to get you out from under, saying they have buyers, but all they really do is take a fee, upward of $400, and do nothing,” says Perkins. Never pay upfront to have someone help you sell your timeshare. If you want out, go to a licensed company and check them out with the Better Business Bureau before listing with them. If you’re having trouble getting rid of your timeshare, work with a rental company to recoup some of the money until you can sell.
Prepaid vacation certificates is another scam that promises great deals yet gets you nothing in return. So anything that requires money up front is something to watch out for, don’t fall prey to these schemes.
For those who rent car’s there is the Collision damage waver’s. These according to “Rick Steve’s, are a waiver racket. When you rent a car, the company often pressures you to buy a CDW supplement, which will prevent you from having to pay a high insurance deductible if the car is damaged. (The deductible can be thousands of dollars before insurance kicks in.) But most major credit cards already include deductible collision coverage for free, so check your credit-card terms and pay for the rental car with your credit card. Then you’ll be covered without having to shell out extra cash for phony insurance.
Here is a big one, Congratulations you have won a free trip. This is a huge scam that has been going on for a long time. Heres the tip; Be wary—many of these “prizes” are actually booby traps in which you’ll have to pay hefty fees to claim the vacation or give your credit-card number to “verify your eligibility,” resulting in identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on these scams. Follow its guide on what to do to avoid being scammed: Get the names of resorts and airlines included in the prize and call them independently to verify the trip. Never give credit-card information to someone who cold-calls you, and be sure to get details of the prize in writing before accepting.
These are just a few of the major scams that are occurring at the moment. Anything that requires a prepayment, or a credit card is definitely something to be weary of. Other things such as fake international driving permits, Bate and switch or misrepresentation of a property, many can style up their websites to make their properties look quite enticing, so this is another thing to be aware of. Sometimes the best way is to get referrals from friends who you trust that have stayed at places. So next time you get ready to plan your vacation be aware and do your research and do not allow yourself to become a victim of one of these scams.