Woman holding euros, passport and flight ticket

How to Avoid Travel Scams

When working in the bail bonds industry, there are certain scams with which bail bonds agents are familiar.

They’ve often heard of many scams and criminal tricks and one of them is travel scams. Bail bond agents want to warn travelers to avoid scams and have gathered up their best tips and advice to help people, so they won’t become a victim.

Random Winnings

One of the ways that scam artists will con their victims is with gifts or the sudden windfall of a travel vacation. It’ll come in the form of a mailed flyer, email or phone call from the scammer. When the victim hasn’t entered any sweepstakes or contests, it’s unlikely that they’ve randomly been selected and won a trip as a prize.

Asks for Processing Cash

When the scammer calls, he’ll ask the victim to provide cash in order to collect the prize they’ve supposedly won. That’s one of the biggest warning signs that it’s a scam phone call. They’ll call it a processing fee or some other type of fee.

Great Bargains for a Price
A scammer will offer great bargains but avoids putting any of those bargains or deals in writing until the victim has made a payment or given him or her money. This should be a huge red flag that it’s a scam. Nobody should be paying to lock down a deal.

Disclosing Personal Information
The scammer will ask for personal information from the potential victim, and nobody should reveal personal information to anyone who calls over the phone. That includes a social security number, bank account information, income or mother’s maiden name. Never give credit card information over the phone to a person who calls you with an offer.

Vague References
When the scammer makes vague references to major airlines or major hotels without being specific, it can be a sign that there’s something wrong with the offer. This is especially true if the scammer won’t be specific even after being pressed for details.

High-Pressure Tactics
When a scammer calls to offer the prize or trip, they will often be fast talking and put pressure on the victim to make an immediate decision or lose their chance. Most people are afraid of missing out on an opportunity, so they won’t resist or examine the offer too closely until later when it’s too late.

A potential victim might ask for references. The scammer might not provide the names of references, or if they do, the references will repeat the same claims as the scammer. That’s because they’re working together.

Deposits or Checks
If the scammer asks the victim to make a direct deposit from their bank or asks for a certified check, and even offers to send a courier, that should be a huge red flag. They’re taking the victim’s money with no plans to provide a vacation or trip of any kind.

60-Day Waiting Period
A scammer may tell the victim that they can’t take the vacation for 60 days. The reasons they give will vary, but the real reason is that once the victim pays with a credit card, they only have 60 days to dispute charges. When the victim finds out it’s a scam after the 60 days, there’s nothing much that can be done.

900 Numbers
Some people will ask for a number to call the salesperson back, and that’s a good tactic to use. When that phone number is a 900 number, that’s a good indication that it’s a scam.

When a salesperson calls with a deal, it’s not always a scam, but if they’re awarding a prize for a contest that was never entered and asks for information or money, that’s a scam. Never give out information over the phone to someone who calls.

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