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I’d like a scam-free vacation

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Summer is around the corner, and I’m dreaming about my next vacation! There are so many places to visit, and a lot of travel deals to consider. My budget and time are limited, so I have to choose carefully. I simply can’t afford losing out to a travel scam.  
I want a good trip at a fair price, so I only deal with travel businesses I trust – whether it’s a travel agency or a travel website. I also do research and ask myself some key questions:

  • Are the cancellations and refund policies clear? Can I get a copy of these policies in writing?
  • Can I pay with credit card? Credit cards give more protection than paying with cash or check.
  • Do I know the total price of the hotel stay per night, including any “resort fees” or other mandatory charges? Knowing the total price is the only way to compare hotels, so I ask if the price includes all the fees.
  • Can I trust that review? If a reviewer is being paid to review a hotel or something else, they should disclose that, but not all do. I look at different websites for reviews, that way I can evaluate comments from different sources.

Also good to know: If you receive a “robocall” saying you won a “free” vacation, that’s a scam. Just hang up and report the caller to the FTC. For more tips on having a scam-free vacation, including tips on travel, timeshares and renting properties, check out Want more summer fun? Play the FTC’s game, Gear up For a Great Trip.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I reported Carambola Beach Club in St. Croix, USVI in November, 2015 for adding resort fees to my bill that were not included on the travel website that I booked the room. It took until April, 2016 for my credit card company to refund my overcharge because the hotel refused to credit me on check-out when I saw the additional charge. I reported the matter here to the FTC but received a msg that there was nothing that it could do about the added resort fees that were not made known to me at booking time or check in time. The FTC noted that it was looking into that practice but I never received a copy or notice on whether a ruling had been made since the addition of such fees changes what we ultimately pay for the rooms per night that we had not planned to pay or we could have gone someplace else for less money. Has a ruling been made and where can I find it?

When you file a complaint with the FTC at, the information goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

If information is used in an investigation or law enforcement action, the people who provided the information may or may not be notified, depending on the circumstances.

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