You get an email, text message, telemarketing call or a postcard in the mail offering you what sounds like a fabulous vacation at an amazingly low price. Is the offer really as good as it sounds? Many “bargain” or “free” vacations have hidden charges that can end up costing you two to three times more than booking a trip through a reputable travel agency or website.
Vacation Offer Scams
The offer may be a scam if:
- The trip is free or available at a low price that seems too good to be true.
- The ad promises a lot but gives very few details.
- You’re notified that you‘ve won the trip in a contest that you don’t remember entering.
- You’re pressured to make an immediate decision about the trip.
- You must give a credit card number to reserve your place, or you’re asked to send money before you get the details of the trip in writing or a confirmed reservation.
- You’re required to tell your annual income or to take part in a seminar or sales pitch, for example for a travel club membership, to qualify for the trip.
- You can’t verify the vendor’s name, company name, street address or phone number, and the offer uses generic terms, such as “major airlines” or “first-class hotels,” without naming them specifically.
Before you buy a trip from an unknown company:
- Ask for time to consider the offer. Don’t get pressured into a commitment over the telephone.
- Before you pay, ask for written materials that describe the trip, including a list of all charges.
- Don’t give a salesperson your credit card or bank account information over the phone, email or text.
- Check with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been made against the company.
We Can Help
If you have a complaint about vacation deals or need to check one out, contact us or call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll free within North Carolina.