The Real Deal: Tips to Help You Avoid Fake Travel Agencies

If you’re one of those people who gets bitten by the travel bug during summer, then you’re probably preparing for your well-deserved vacation. There are a lot of possible destinations for your vacation, both local and abroad. If you’re planning to travel overseas, you’ll need more preparation.

If you want to skip the hassle of preparing everything for your vacation, a travel agency can be helpful. There are local travel agencies, and you can also find some on the internet. The problem is, several fake travel agencies are present. Anybody can be a victim of these frauds.

To avoid falling into the trap of fake travel agencies, here are some helpful tips to help you determine if your travel agency is legit or not.

Fake agencies offer super-cheap airline tickets and hotel fees

People want enjoyable vacation without spending a lot of money. The usual trick that counterfeit agencies use is they offer cheap tickets to potential customers. It’s good to be able to go somewhere while spending less, but you also have to check the provided price carefully.

Examine the offered fares and fees and compare it to the usual price. If the gap is too big, try checking if the site or the agent has proofs of legitimacy. However, not all sites are fake. Some sites like Deal Wiki offer discounted travel tours, but these offers are reasonably priced.

Fake agencies ask for unnecessary information

Travel agencies will ask for valuable information. The information that will be asked of you should be used only for booking or payment purposes. If the agency or agent requests for other information which you think isn’t essential for your transactions, such as pictures of your passport, think twice and verify if the agency is legally registered.

Agencies can ask for other personal information, but the agent must explain why they are asking for that information.  If you’re still suspicious, try looking for another travel agency.

Fake agencies use fake information

Agencies post their address and contact numbers online. If you want to verify that the agency exists, try checking the address posted on the site. If the agency is fake, either the address doesn’t exist, or it’s possible that other business or individual occupy the address.

Try examining the contact number posted on the site. Check if the address matches the area or dialing code on the displayed contact number. If it doesn’t match, try asking or switch to another agency.

Fake agencies steal promotional materials

Counterfeit agencies steal documents from other legal travel agencies, such as pictures from successful transactions or text from excellent customer feedback. Try searching on the internet if the names mentioned in the reviews match the image that comes with it.

You can also check their social media accounts. Most people who are satisfied with a travel agency’s services mention the name of the agency on their posts.

Fake agencies have hidden charges

Legitimate agencies will give you a list or a document which shows how much you’re paying, and what are the things that you’ll be paying for. The agent should give this list or report to you before you book or pay for anything. Transparency in money matters is a sign that an agency is legal.

If the agent withholds information from you, especially about fees or charges that you have to pay, this could be a sign that the agency is fake. So make sure that the agent or agency gives you precise information about how much you’re going to pay, and where your money will go.

Fake agencies are not available after they sell you something

Real travel agencies will assist you if you have questions about your trip, or if you need help with something else. Fake agencies are done talking to you once you have booked your trip. Some of them don’t respond if you have queries, or they respond after a long time. They might also not check if your trip was okay, or if you encountered some problems while you were on vacation.

Try asking the agent if you can call them even if you’re already on vacation, in case you need assistance or help. If the agent doesn’t seem interested in helping you, the agency might be fake. Real agencies cater to the needs of their customers before and during the vacation.

Takeaway

Vacations should be fun and relaxing. To make this possible, you need to prepare as early as you can. A travel agency can help you have the best vacation possible, but you have to make sure that the agency is legitimate.

Check if the agency asks necessary information from you. Examine the prices of the services they are offering to you, and assess if they are reasonably priced. Inspect the details posted on the site. If you have doubts about the agency, try talking with an agent or switch to another travel agency.

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