Phoenix, Az: Summer may already be half over, but there is
still time to take that well-earned vacation. Attorney General
Terry Goddard encourages consumers to make travel plans carefully
and be aware of potential travel scams.
The Attorney General's Office has received information from Arizona
travelers reaching their destination, only to find that the lodging
arrangements they made were not legitimate. Travelers often lose
their advance payments and have no place to stay.
Goddard offers the following advice to consumers:
* When booking over the Internet, be leery of making reservations
unknown people or businesses that require advance payment or
deposits without a written contract. Legitimate businesses will
always provide a written contract guaranteeing your reservation.
* Don't make any transactions that can be completed only by phone.
Legitimate reservation companies will offer the option to book by
phone or via the Internet. Ask questions about their address, a
written contract and refund policy. Do an Internet search of the
address to see if a map shows the location.
* Be cautious of travel offers that appear "too good to be true."
Dramatically reduced fares are often not legitimate and may require
additional payments that the buyer is unaware of when making the
reservation. Read the fine print before purchasing.
* Beware of travel reservation Web sites that are unfamiliar to
you. Scam Web sites have been cropping up that offer reduced fares
on travel and hotel accommodations only to steal your credit card
information. Research a site before making a purchase and stick to
trusted travel sites when booking online.
* Avoid nearly-free, all-inclusive vacation packages. Often the
amenities and perks are not as they appear; there are additional
hidden charges and buyers are forced to sit through lengthy, high
pressure time-share presentations.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the
Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763; in Tucson at
520.628.6504; or at 1.800.352.8431 outside the Phoenix and Tucson
metro areas. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General's
Office has 35 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers
available to help. Locations and hours are posted on the Attorney
General's Web site at
Please visit the Attorney General's Web site to sign up for scam
alerts and weekly messages from Attorney General Goddard
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