Home TIPS Travel Agent Accused Of Stealing $630K
Travel Agent Accused Of Stealing $630K PDF Print E-mail

That recent headline is rare, but should give senior travelers a warning. The court case is pending, and could result in heavy jail time on this case involving group travel scams. At least 99% of travel agents, hometown and online, we’ve used are totally honest.

However, as with a bad apple in any business, travel crooks target vulnerable seniors. When making plans, follow a few simple rules to protect yourself.

1. Research the travel agency. Check it out with online reports from regulatory agencies and other frequent travelers. If there are pending legal problems, stay away.

2. When purchasing a trip, don’t pay cash, even as a down payment. Don’t pay extra up-front fees for special rooms, airline seats and other upgrades. They’re usually just promises, but no guarantee you’ll actually get them. You can pay when and if they happen on your arrival.

3. Before you book, especially an overseas trip, go to travel.state.gov to learn about current scams, terrorism, political unrest and other potential dangers. Then consider adjusting plans to avoid them.

4. Be extra careful with your credit card. While traveling, it can be vulnerable to many rip-offs. Except for major purchases, such as air tickets, cruises and hotel rooms, do daily purchases with currency of the country you’re visiting.

Use it for taxis, souvenirs and restaurants. When you first arrive, make the money exchange at a local bank or your hotel front desk. Best of all, that’ll probably give you more bang for your buck than paying in dollars.

5. Watch out for the new private taxi services. Probably 99% are individuals honestly trying to make some extra income. However, you’re less vulnerable to overcharging or personal danger when you use licensed, metered taxis.

6. City tour buses for hire are OK if you’re physically limited, but often not worth the money. They go on specific routes, which often involve stopping at tourist trap markets. With 30 or 40 others crammed in, there’s too much on-and-off discomfort. You can do the same with a hired taxi, and if with another couple aboard, it may be cheaper and much more comfy than the tour bus.


7. Just be smart, careful and enjoy scam-free travel!

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