Published on June 14th, 2012 | by Tom Wake1
5 ways to protect yourself from holiday scams
I know this will sound counterintuitive – as you know I’m against paying for anything on credit – but if you can pay your balance off in full each month there are some advantages to paying by credit card. If you’re not in receipt of goods you paid for (for example a holiday package) you can often reclaim the money from the credit card company.
2. Look out for the ATOL and ABTA membership – if it’s not there look elsewhere
ATOL and ABTA regulate the travel and aviation industry. If a company is not signed up then the chances are they’ve got something to hide. It’s not enough to look up the logo, make sure you check if their registered on these wesbites:
3. Check out their contact details – if they’re unclear steer well clear
If you’re dealing with a reputable company they should make their contact details easy to find. If you’re booking a holiday it’s best to book from a company based in the UK – that way they’re subject to the British the legal system and they’re easier to locate and challenge in the event of a problem.
4. Take a look on Trip Advisor – hear what real people have to say
Trip Advisor has fast become the people’s authority on hotel reviews and holiday destinations. Why? Because it’s real people sharing real stories. Often you can find people talking about their experience using travel companies on their forums.
Try Googling “[Enter Company Name here] and Trip Advisor”
5. If in doubt cancel your card immediately – cut your losses before things escalate
If you encounter a rogue company who’s got your card details and is taking payments without your express permission the only way you can stop them for certain is to cancel your card. If your card company is being funny about it (and they shouldn’t be) tell them your card is lost or stolen. Better to stop them in their tracks before it gets any worse.
I hope you find this helpful. If you’ve been scammed by a rogue company or have got any tips or advice to add please feel free to leave a comment below.