The summer travel season is here and many families have vacations planned in the coming weeks. Nothing can ruin a good trip faster than falling for a scam or realizing you got a bad deal.
Attorney General Roy Cooper joined this week with law enforcement and consumer protection officials from other states as well as overseas to go after travel scammers, including one that operated in North Carolina. The international sweep coordinated by the US Federal Trade Commission includes 190 actions taken by 28 states and eight other countries.
To help consumers avoid scams and get better deals on travel, we’ve created a special travel tips section at www.ncdoj.gov. The tips cover travel clubs, “free” vacation offers, timeshares, timeshare resales, and vacation rentals.
Wherever your vacation takes you, keep the following tips in mind when making travel plans:
· Read all contracts carefully before you sign. Make sure all promises are put in writing, and keep good records in case you have a problem later.
· Get details about a trip in writing and a confirmed reservation before you agree to pay anything.
· If your travel deal involves a third party such as an online travel agency who is supposed to issue you a coupon to cover lodging or air fare, verify that the participating company (hotel, cruise ship, or airline) is in fact a partner of the travel agency and will honor the coupon.
· Pay with a credit card instead of cash to improve your odds of getting a refund if the company goes out of business.
· To check for complaints against a specific travel agent, travel package company or rental property landlord, call us toll-free at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. You can also search for complaints online by entering the company name and the word “complaints” or “scam” but be aware that you may also find site that promote the company.
If you spot a travel scam or have another travel related consumer complaint, file a complaint at www.ncdoj.gov or contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.