BBB cautions spring breakers of travel scams

DENVER - With spring break travel in full swing, the Better Business Bureau in Denver/Boulder wants everyone to make educated decisions when it comes to traveling.

BBBs across the U.S. and in Canada received more than 7,500 complaints against the travel industry in 2013, a slight increase compared to 2012.

Most complaints involve billing disputes or misrepresentation when it comes to a scheduled vacation.

They also say identity theft commonly occurs in various ways while traveling.

The BBB wants you to be aware of travel scams and identity theft before leaving on your vacation. They offer these tips to avoid becoming a victim:

-Book through a reliable travel agent. Find BBB Accredited travel agencies at BBB Accredited Businesses must adhere to the BBB's Standards of Trust, which include advertising honestly, being transparent and honoring promises.

-Get details about your trip in writing. Confirm details such as total cost, extra fees, any applicable restrictions, flights, hotel reservations and car rental information. Take copies with you on your trip.

-Use a credit card as payment. Paying by credit card offers the most protection should something to wrong.

-Consider purchasing travel insurance. Circumstances could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling. Travel insurance may provide the extra protection you need. Be sure to shop around and read the terms and conditions before purchasing.

-Use caution when considering deals. If a deal or package offers a lot for a very low price, be wary. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

-Be wary of claims you "won" a trip. Generally if you've truly won something, it will be given to you as a gift. Be especially leery if the offer is unsolicited. Check on any offers with the BBB.


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