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Think twice before clicking on that enticing banner or emails for a free luxury, all expenses paid vacation. Many internet users are targets for scammers from all over the world. Scam victims are often getting tricked into paying money upfront while the scammer simply takes the money and disappears without a trace. Millions of dollars are being earned through scamming via email, phone calls, banners, and even postal mail. Of course, there are genuine travel offers that exist, but they are being shunned because there has been an increase in reported cases of fraud and scam.

In some cases, the travel packages offered to go through, however, they are lacking components that it had originally promised. There are some smart tips to keep in mind the next time you or anyone you know are confronted with these travel offers. First off, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is! If you have not entered any travel contests and you are being communicated to about winning a wonderful vacation package, it is more than likely, a scam. Some legitimate travel agencies do require an initial lump sum amount so do your research carefully and if any red flags are raised, proceed with caution. Secondly, just as a good salesman would do, the scammer might give the potential scam victim pressure to make the decision. A legitimate travel agency operates during regular business hours, so another red flag would be receiving phone calls late at night.

It may seem like common sense, but believe it or not, people still continuously fall for these traps. There is nothing wrong with being skeptical of these travel deals, especially when it is your wallet’s money on the line. If you have kept all these tips in mind and feel that it is a legitimate travel deal, it is always a great idea to pay by credit card. Many major credit card companies welcome any dispute cases, especially if you do not get what you paid for.

Another major tip is to make sure you get a receipt in printing or writing. Definitely do not be shy about asking for specifics such as the name of the hotel, airline, and so forth. You have the right to know the details. Another rule of thumb that is found across the board when purchasing anything online or in-store, always have a copy of the company’s cancellation and refund policies. Also, stick with a reputable travel agency or online travel site. Looking for a vacation should be exciting but do not ruin the fun of it by falling for scams!

Go here to learn a real travel agent’s secrets to cheap flights and more!

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