West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminds consumers to be cautious when making travel plans as summertime fast approaches.
Vacationers often look toward summer as the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and family, explore new places or revisit their favorite destination.
“Warmer weather gets many people thinking about summer travel,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Whether it is a theme park, a cruise or some other destination, consumers must be cautious so as to avoid any potential scams.”
To avoid falling prey to any scams, consumers should get reviews from reputable travel websites and/or family and friends. Also, remember paying with credit cards gives consumers certain protections to dispute charges.
Consumers should additionally validate physical addresses as opposed to simply clicking on a good deal. Third-party links can redirect consumers to an independent booking agency that charges additional fees.
Additional tips include:
- Be wary of any company that asks for payment via money order or pre-paid debit card.
- Be wary of ads that offer a luxurious vacation for a minimal price and ads that provide few details.
- Be cautious of firms that ask for payment before confirming reservations. Most reputable travel agents will confirm before payment.
- Deal with established companies. Check with friends, family or other resources if the name or reputation is not familiar.
- Know cancellation and refund policies.
- Keep a close eye on banking statements during and following travel.
- Be wary of vacation offers that are “good today only.”
- The better a vacation package sounds, the more important it is to verify the details.
Consumers with questions can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at http://www.wvago.gov.