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Be an Aware Consumer, Avoid Being Scammed

Would you like to put your feet in the sand and soak up some rays? Or maybe you are a ski bunny and would rather sit by a fire place roasting marshmallows.

See Also: 5 Scams to Watch for in 2012

Either way, a vacation is a wonderful luxury, but you want to make sure you are cautious when booking a trip. You can avoid becoming a travel victim by being an aware consumer. Think twice before falling for phony or expensive deals like these:

  • Travel Agent Offers: These deals only allow you to gain the discounts if you pay for the travel agent materials and ID. However, the travel industry does not recognize the ID.
  • Vacation Certificates: Scammers will promise you a bargain priced vacation. The certificates don’t mention the extra expenses and when you add up all the fees and extras, the bargain is more expensive than a regular vacation package. The scammers may include the airfare but the usual $50 hotel room ends up costing $350 a night instead.
  • Free But at What Price: You are offered a low-cost or even a free trip to find that your room is cramped, the accommodations are terrible and you don’t trust the food. The scammer instantly finds an upgrade at an outrageous price. In other cases, you qualify for a free trip to Florida or other tropical destinations and upon landing you are forced into presentations on timeshares, and if you don’t participate you will not get the vouchers for the rest of your vacation. At the finish of the presentation you are heavily pressured into buying a timeshare.

As excited as we all might be to have some fun in the sun, or trek through the snow, be an aware consumer, so you are not stuck with a vacation that is anything but relaxing.

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