How To Protect Yourself From Travel Scams

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." This
time-honored rule holds true for many situations, with
travel scams no exception.

Travelers can protect themselves from falling victim to
most scams, by following these guidelines:

* Pass up sales pitches that conceal or omit important
facts, such as travel restrictions or regular charges.
Additional hidden charges probably exist.

* Sidestep offers that pressure consumers to decide
quickly. With today's timely fax and e-mail
capabilities, no "deal" should require a
spur-of-the-moment decision.

* Exercise extreme caution with vacation certificates
that arrive by mail or suggest that you've won
something. Typically, the cost of the trip increases,
upon close inspection.

* Identify companies that have been around for
several years.

* Ask detailed questions regarding additional charges
such as meals, taxes, excursions, gratuities and air fare.

* Verify the company's reputation with the American
Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)(1-800-275-2782)
or the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA)

If you still have questions or doubts, it's probably best to
steer clear.

Tips courtesy of Magazine --

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