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6 Travel Scams to Watch Out For

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you want to avoid falling victim to travel scams, consult your trusted travel agent and steer clear of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). You might find this harsh, but having a reliable travel agent means you can reach out via phone, Zoom, or other modern methods. Can you say the same about OTAs?

Julia Hammond of Daily Passport recently published a spine-chilling post, ‘6 Travel Scams to Watch Out For.’ She cites FTC data showing scammers conned Americans out of $10 billion in 2023, with travel-related scams making up a significant portion. With online trip planning, these scams have become more sophisticated.

One scam involves hackers infiltrating hotel booking portals to request money via OTA apps. Travelers think it’s legitimate, only to find the hotel has no record of the payment. To avoid this, contact the hotel directly before paying.

Another scam targets electronic travel authorization (ETA) applications. Unscrupulous businesses charge exorbitant fees for ETAs you can get cheaper directly from government websites. Always apply through official channels.

At airports, unlicensed taxi drivers may overcharge you or tamper with meters. Trust your instincts. Research official taxi areas or arrange transportation through your hotel.

Diversion scams, where someone distracts you while an accomplice steals your belongings, are common. Stay vigilant in busy areas, and keep valuables secure.

Fake police officers might demand to search your purse for counterfeit money, and then steal your cash. Request to accompany them to the nearest police station for checks.

Lastly, scammers on social media posing as airline customer service to trick you into revealing personal information. Always verify social media handles before engaging.

The list goes on. Scammers are getting bolder, as highlighted in a recent article on spotting fake airline websites. Nearly one-third of Americans have fallen victim to airline ticket scams. Always ensure you’re booking through legitimate sources.

In conclusion, if you’re dealing with Vuitton Travel – NYC or its affiliates and you don’t see Kenneth R. Vásquez Laya (above) on Zoom or hear his distinct voice, you’re not dealing with us.

Don’t fall victim to online crime—trust your travel agent.


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