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Travel fraud: 5 tips to avoid scams when booking a vacation

by Staff

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Travel and vacation scams ranked 9th in a Better Business Bureau report listing the 10 riskiest scams affecting Canadians.

According to the BBB, only 1.6% of Canadians are exposed to travel scams, but more than one-third of those fall for them.

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Here are 5 ways to avoid scams when booking your next holiday:

1. Be wary of third-party websites

Among legitimate sites like Expedia are dozens of others posing as ticket brokers. But instead of booking your trip, they steal your personal information. BBB advises, “Always take 5 — take 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days to think before making a large purchase.”

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2. If buying direct, contact a rep

Call the airline and hotel at least a week before departure to confirm your reservation is legitimate.

3. Don’t wire money or use debit when travelling

Just like cash, once the money is gone, it’s gone. Many banks, however, will offer fraud protection on credit card purchases if caught quickly.

4. Keep your documents up to date

Make sure your travel documents are valid and give family a copy of your itinerary. Other documents you should have include vaccine information, transfer vouchers and travel insurance.

5. Check your passport

Make sure it’s valid and apply early if it needs to be renewed. Don’t trust third parties — get renewal information directly from the Government of Canada website.

BBB also advises against giving money or personal information to someone claiming they can expedite a passport.

Source: Better Business Bureau

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