Be Cautious Booking Travel Online
The travel industry has been one of the biggest users of selling their products online. Rail companies, accommodation providers, tour operators, cruise companies and tourist authorities have all leaped in and provide online suites to book services, order brochures or to join sites where you can talk about your holidays. Today about 60% of all UK internet searches are for holiday related information.
But from Get Safe Online, the government backed website that encourages safe online trading, comes a message that we all should remember. Be careful which sites you use. Be careful of offers that seem too good to be true. Check any online sites that you haven’t heard off with a reliable source before using them.
Just today in the CD-Traveller office we have the usual load of spam encouraging us to deal with online pharmacy companies and to aid a lady who wants us to take $5.6 million into our bank account so that she can’t whisk it away from the country she is living in. Probably just about all of us have had similar e-mails and we are wise to this tactic. Who of us has not had an email suspending a bank account or offering us a tax refund? Providing, of course, that we pass our bank details over to them;- whoever “them” is. Get Safe Online reminds of some of the other scams especially now that with waning interest in the World Cup, there has been a rush to look at and book last-minute holidays.
Be aware of villa rental sites where no contact telephone numbers are given. All websites should state who owns them and provide contact details. Company websites should provide a registered office and a VAT number. Check to see that, if they ask for payment, they provide a secure method of payment. Somewhere in the terms and conditions it will explain these. If the “company” asks for a cheque to be sent be wary. Especially so if it goes to a PO Box number. Research done by Get Safe Online suggests that up to 14% of us have sent a cheque off in this way and the money or the service has never been heard of again.
We know that spurious e-mails are supposedly sent from “editor at CD-Traveller” which try to sell things. You know we don’t sell anything. We just provide tourism and travel information. Our apologies for the annoyance this causes but we can do little about it other than reporting them. But by being cautious and vigilant you are unlikely to be scammed. Until you meet some of the taxi drivers or the souvenir sellers on your holiday!