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How to Avoid Scams When Traveling

As summer nears, many people are ready to book vacations. When planning a trip, be aware of potential scams by following a few simple guidelines. 

Do Your Homework
The first rule of thumb is to buy from a business you know and trust. If you haven’t had prior dealings with the business, make sure to do your research about the company. Also, read reviews and ask friends if they’ve used that business before. 

Verify the Ads 
Some companies will list a vacation package as luxury or five star when, in fact, it’s far from it. Whatever deal is being advertised, confirm the accommodations meet the promise of the advertisement. You can easily do this by contacting the hotel, the cruise line, or tour company. 

Read the Fine Print
Make sure you know the cancellation policy before booking your vacation. Some deals don’t offer refunds or the ability to move dates, especially if it is a limited time offer. You’ll also want to look for all fees associated with the trip such as resort fees. Often, these fees are hidden in the fine print and can cancel out the good deal you thought you were getting. 

Use a Credit Card
Credit cards can offer more protection than checking account cards, and most certainly more protection than if using cash. It’s often easier to dispute charges with credit card companies, and since you’re not using a checking account card, your checking account funds are not vulnerable in case of fraud.  

Travelers should also keep in mind risks related to travelling with mobile devices. Read more on How to Protect Personal Information on Internet-Enabled Devices now. 

Source: Federal Trade Commission