Five tips to help you avoid some common holiday scams

Imagine this: you have planned the long-awaited perfect vacation with your family. You’ve booked the flights, the accommodation looks great and everything seems almost too good to be true.

Unfortunately it can be.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put vacations on hold for many people. But now many travelers are eager to explore the area again. Unfortunately, with the return of travel comes the return of travel and vacation scams.

So before you start packing, it’s a good idea to find out about some of the common holiday scams to protect yourself and your family from scams. To learn more about how to protect your family from scams, visit the TD Stories scam hub.

Here are a few tips to do just that.

Be wary of the “perfect” offer

The rental property on the website looks quaint and has all the amenities you need. But before you book your stay online, make sure you know what you’re getting and that you’re booking on a reputable website.

Fraudulent websites have been known to take photos and information from genuine travel websites and claim them as their own. Other scam sites create fabricated or fake advertisements. If you book through one of these websites there is no guarantee that you will get the room you paid for and you may not find out until you arrive at your destination – by which time your money is likely to be gone.

To save yourself this heartache, do your research and stay away from offers that require you to pay using unusual methods like bank transfers.

Book direct from the source

The number of travel comparison sites is overwhelming, and some are not exactly what they appear to be. In some cases, companies trick travelers into thinking they are booking directly with the airline or hotel, when ultimately they do so through a third party.

Working directly with the travel supplier, either over the phone or through their website, can help you avoid becoming a victim of booking fraud. Confirming your reservation with the airline or hotel after booking can also give you peace of mind.

Credit card rewards programs work with reputable travel companies. So, before making any plans, it’s a good idea to check which organizations might be associated with your card.

Don’t fall for high-pressure tactics

what would be better You will find a fantastic holiday package at a surprisingly affordable price. There’s just one catch: you must pay a deposit immediately to reserve your spot today.

As tempting as it may be to make something that feels like a unique business, you should probably walk away. TD fraud experts say high-pressure sales pitches — “take the offer now or it’s gone forever” — are a way scammers pressure their potential victims into handing over money. The truth is, they don’t want you to take the time and research the offer because it’s an illusion.

Use a credit card to pay

Every time you pay for a flight or a rental, you should consider using your credit card. E-transfers and bank transfers are difficult to track down if they fall into the wrong hands. However, card networks often offer anti-fraud benefits and may be able to reverse the charge if it turns out to be fake.

The travel benefits included with your TD credit card can help you feel more prepared when you travel, but may vary by card. You could also be entitled to a range of coverages such as trip cancellation and hotel burglary. A good place to start is to verify your credit card travel insurance benefits with your card issuer. The TD Cardholder Insurance Coverage Guide can be found here.

Do not trust third parties when it comes to your passport

If you have not traveled abroad for a long time, you may need to apply for or renew your passport before you travel. Just make sure you follow the instructions on the Government of Canada website for applying for an adult passport in Canada or renewing an adult passport in Canada and bring the required documents to a Service Canada passport office.

The Canadian government’s website warns against paying a fee or giving out personal information to people who claim it can speed up the application process. According to the Government of Canada website, “No third party, whether an individual or a company, can expedite the processing of your application.”

This article is for informational purposes only and its information should not be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial or other professional advice. The information provided is general and does not relate to the circumstances of any specific person or entity for which you should obtain your own legal, tax or other professional advice.

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