Better Business Bureau warning travellers of vacation deal scams
Beachgoers crowd a popular beach in Australia in this undated file image. (AP/Rick Rycroft)
Meagan Gill, CTV News Vancouver
Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:38PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:48PM PDT
The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning after a spike in vacation deal scams. The organization has already received 91 reports of fraud from across North America—with over $22.6 million lost this year alone.
Most travellers are aware that by booking their reservations as early as possible, they can get better deals. But the BBB warns scammers are exploiting that trend and targeting consumers through social media, pop-up advertisements and unsolicited phone calls.
“Travel scams can range from flight and vacation packages with prices that are too good to be true, to scammers impersonating reputable travel service businesses and consumers submitting personal information to a fake website,” the BBB's Karla Davis said in a news release.
While there are only eight victims affected by this fraud so far in Canada, they have lost a combined total of $61,930. One of those victims was scammed out of $48,000.
The BBB Scam Tracker reports victims shared their credit card details over the phone to secure the travel deals. In some cases, the scammer asked for a scanned copy of their driver’s licence.
Typically, the scammer creates a false sense of urgency—to get the consumer to book without doing the proper research first.
BBB is sharing the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of travel scams:
- Avoid using broad internet searches that can lead you to fraudulent websites.
- Get trip details in writing before making any payments.
- Do not wire money or use pre-paid debit cards.
- Be wary of websites offering deals that seem too good to be true.