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Travel fraud: 5 tips to avoid vacation scams

According to a Better Business Bureau report, more than 1/3 of Canadians exposed to travel scams fall for them

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.

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

1. Be cautious of third-party websites

While there are legitimate sites such as Expedia, there are also many others pretending to be ticket brokers. Instead of arranging your trip, these sites steal your personal information. The BBB recommends taking time to think before making a big purchase – whether it's 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days.

2. If making a direct purchase, get in touch with a representative

A week before your trip, call the airline and hotel to confirm that your reservation is legitimate.

3. Avoid wiring money or using a debit card while traveling

Similar to cash, once the money is gone, it cannot be recovered. However, in the case of credit card purchases, many banks offer fraud protection if discovered promptly.

4. Ensure that your documents are up to date

Double-check that your travel documents are valid and share a copy of your itinerary with family. Additionally, make sure to have other necessary documents such as vaccine information, transfer vouchers, and travel insurance.

5. Verify the status of your passport

Confirm that your passport is current and if it needs to be renewed, apply for renewal early. It's essential to obtain renewal information directly from the Government of Canada website and not rely on third parties. Additionally, the BBB cautions against giving money or personal details to anyone claiming they can expedite a passport.

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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