Avoid Travel Scams With These 5 Tips
Scammers are scummy human beings. Say that 3 times.
This week, a very close friend lost thousands of dollars to a scam that promised travel deals beyond her imagination. And cross their honest hearts, these opportunities were verifiable.
RTC Adventures set up a series of seminars promising 3 FREE weeks a year at beautiful locations and then unlimited travel discounts with airfare beginning at $200 RT to destinations around the world and hotels costing $299 for 7 days.
How much will that cost you, reader? An easy $10,000!
Can't afford that? How about $5,000?
Okay, don't walk out the door, we can do a trial period for $2,000. How's that sound?
Well, in her eagerness to find great deals for herself and her family, my friend missed these huge red flags. Of course, we know what they say about hindsight, and there's no finger pointing at my friend's error. I just want to make sure no one else ever gives these scummy scammers another hard-earned, hopeful cent.
1. Research their website. Look up their FB and Twitter pages to see how many followers they have.
Click on the despicable RTC Adventures website. Then click on their Contact Us page. Take a look at their FB and Twitter pages. It has over a million followers. Legit right? Then take a look at the name on the FB/Twitter pages. They linked it to the company that created their website. Dirty tricks to attempt to establish social credibility.
2. Run away if they give you another website to use, separate from their company's site.
This is a common dishonest tactic to break the scummy trail. RTC Adventures told customers that they had to use a secondary site mytsonline.com to book all travel. If complaints are lodged, typically it will be against RTC Adventures since they were the company with which the customer had all the contact. Once enough complaints are made, the company simply changes its primary name and website, and keeps its secondary one.
In this case, mytsonline.com adds fees to the low airfare/hotel rates on any trip you book. Additionally, they don't tell you where you're staying until after you've paid. Who does that nowadays?
3. Research reviews about the company online by typing "company's name + reviews" or "company's url + reviews".
Hopefully, this will reveal any previous customer complaints with regards to this company and its practices. You can try it with this company now. You'll see some ripoff reports listed.
4. If they tell you that credit cards are not preferred, but personal checks are better, punch them in the face.
Once a check is cashed, it's pretty hard to get your money back. With credit card companies, they can take action against fraudulent practices fairly quickly, tracking them easier and reversing the charges.
5. If pressure tactics are used, or they slash prices drastically to make the sale, it's probably a scam.
They're trying to get money quick. Any amount of money will do. So, they will have liberty to sweeten the deal and reduce the price for you. Don't be fooled. Tell them you need to think about it and research it. If they tell you that the offer is limited and won't be around when you get back, tell them "Great, then I won't have anything to research and you've just made my life easier."