May 7, 2021

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How to avoid online travel booking scams

3 min read
Are you looking to travel again soon? Have you researched your destination to make sure...

How To Avoid Online Travel Scams

Are you looking to travel again soon? Have you researched your destination to make sure that it is permissible to travel there under Covid-19 health measures and that it is safe for you and others to do so? There are so many websites on which travelers can book their flights, hotels, tour packages and activities, rental cars, and more. You might be wondering how do you tell if they’re real and not posing as an online scam?

The only way to be sure if a business, company, or service provider is real and reputable, is to do a thorough online search of testimonials and reviews of real-world customers. Their feedback and experiences they relate to websites such as US-Reviews will enable you to make better-informed decisions about those companies and the services they offer.

Booking directly with hotels and airlines means you might be paying full price for their products, while third-parties such as online travel agencies can find you the best prices and best deals instead. It is worth contacting travel agencies to plan a vacation: they are, after all, professionals in this field.

However, don’t get taken in with the flashing colours, ridiculously low prices advertised by the first website that pops up in your online search.

By using one of the top-rated travel agencies on a reviews website such as US-Reviews, you will be able to greatly reduce your exposure to scams and phony travel booking websites. While there are hundreds of these websites available, educate yourself on the tips we offer you here to not be fooled into a scam and stay one step ahead of them.

1) Check that the travel agency’s website has HTTPS in the URL. While this might seem basic, many people don’t bother to check this and it exposes them to hackers stealing their information. If you’re unsure if the website is real or not, call the company to try to ascertain their verification.

2) Check whether the company has a physical mailing address. If this is lacking, it is one of the signs of the business being advertised is phony. Look on their website for their “About Us” or “Contact Us” pages to find their mailing address.

3) Ensure that you the website you wish to book your vacation with is knowledgeable about your holiday destination and that belongs to at least one of the tourism regulatory bodies. You don’t want to be stuck in a foreign city with fake hotel bookings and no money…

4) If you find a website that you feel comfortable enough to use, make sure you only use your credit card to book your travel. That’s because if the website turns out to be a scam, you’ve not given them direct access to your bank account and money. With credit cards, it is more difficult for them to gain access to your money without being caught in the act. Also, the majority of credit card companies and banks offer fraud protection on their credit cards. While that isn’t a license to use your credit card on phony websites, your details will become freely available on the internet and that could become messy and complicated.

5) Once you’ve received your booking confirmations via e-mail, call the hotels and airlines to double-check that your bookings were in fact made and paid for by the travel website.

Remember this: if a deal seems to be too good to be true, it usually is. Avoid those.

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