Traveling to different places is encouraged by most, if not all, people because it is fun, enriching, you’ll get to meet new friends, and simply it’s full of new experiences. To help you plan your future trips, travel agencies are welcome and open to serve you. Unfortunately there are fake travel agencies out there that instead of making your trip a little easier, they will milk you out of your cash, take a lot of your time, and even your patience. These are mostly scammers and they are out there to look for the next victim – it can be you! In order for you to save your money, time, and sanity, here are the different ways you can detect a fake travel agency.
No Physical Office Address = No Go
If you check on their website and they do not have any physical address or contact number, then it is time for you to question it. This is one of the most obvious telltale sign that you are dealing with a fake travel agency. Physical office address is very important to any types of business – even online retailers have physical address. Scammers who are running a phony travel agency usually don’t have any physical office address. They only operate online to lure you in and take money from people by asking them to make payments for travel bookings and such. After dealing, they will immediately disappear together with the money they took, closing the website down, and start the whole process again.
What’s even scarier is that scammers duplicate legitimate travel agencies. The best thing you can do is to simply make a call or go to their physical office address so that you can be assured of their legitimacy. If they cannot provide an address, then don’t do business with them – it’s highly likely to be a scammer.
When it is Too Good to be True, then it Probably Is
If you are offered with a one-week stay at a five-star hotel somewhere in the Caribbean – inclusive of meals, transportation, and round trip tickets to the destination – for only 150 dollars, they’re not running a real travel agency (not even a charity). Cheap travel offers such as this example, no matter how tempting it might sound, must be doubted.
No Reviews or Recommendations Must Mean Something is Fishy
You must be always on the lookout if you can’t find anyone recommending a travel agency. Most legit travel agencies are commended and loved by customers whose expectations are met and even exceeded. However, don’t just rely on positive reviews – also read the negative reviews.
Ask For Legal Documents such as Business License
You may end up looking like a paranoid person but it will help you get the answers you wanted. Politely tell the travel agency that you are not going to continue with the business unless they can show you original papers such as business permits, registration certificates, travel industry membership cards, and business license among others. If it is a real travel agency they will understand and can easily show you papers with no hesitations – a fake travel agency will hesitate.
There Must Be No Shortcuts
The last of the different ways you can detect a fake travel agency is when they will insist you to pass a shortcut route to, say, get away from unpleasant scenarios. Some fake travel agencies will even ask you to dress in a particular way to deceive immigration officials. If they will tell you to do these so, then it is time for to back off and look for another travel agency.
So for your next trip here and abroad, be cautious and remember the hints we give you in order for you to know if either the travel agency you are dealing with is fake or not.