A Guide to Avoid Travel Agency Frauds on Social Networks

Are you going to buy vacation packages on social networks? See how they scam and tips to avoid it.

A Guide to Avoid Travel Agency Frauds on Social Networks
Shopping for vacation packages on social media? Check out how they scam you and tips to avoid it. Photo by S'well / Unsplash

Are you thinking of taking a vacation and you are offered packages through a social network? Be careful, because you could be a victim of fraud, as several profiles of supposed travel agencies that are scamming people have been detected.

Some profiles on Facebook or Instagram are not safe to buy goods, products, or services because there is no certainty about who is offering them or the identity of the people behind the computer, which is why you should be somewhat suspicious if someone asks for information or money, in this case, posing as a travel agency.

How do scammers operate?

Scammers offer tourist packages at very low prices that are suspicious.

They show you pictures and videos of the tourist destinations and experiences they are selling.

They ask you for an advance deposit (of the total or partial amount) of the supposed cost of the package (to reserve your place or some other excuse).

Once the deposit has been made, the supposed agencies cut off all communication and even disappear the profiles from the internet.

They take advantage of the fact that, once the victims are hooked, they do not have enough information to make a claim or the means to do so.

Tips to avoid fraud

Use logic: a single night in luxury hotels can cost the same or more. Now, add up the flights and days offered.

Before paying or making a deposit, check to whom you are going to make it. Call the supposed hotels and airlines they offer you and verify the prices.

Check that the supposed agency is in the National Tourism Registry. If the agency seems to be certified and looks "right" because they use logos of government institutions, check that it is registered.

Although the offers are tempting, it is recommended to hire official tourist services.

Also check that they have a web page, as well as that it has contact information and address in the national territory.

Check the security of the site: verify that the web page starts with "HTTP://" or that the link has a padlock.