Exposing Fraud: How To Identify A Fake Travel Agent

From covering your initial rides to managing all your bookings, be cautious when travel agents are overly generous. Such excessive kindness might indicate a scam
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A wave of fake travel agents who wager to send ineligible people to foreign countries has been witnessed in India recently. While many were arrested, it is a sure thing that many more are still out there doing their fraudulent business. Such travel agents exercise their deceptive business through illegible vacation packages, registration frauds, and psychological mind games. Travellers are advised to be alarmed against such scammers and dealing with them can cost you severely.

If you sense something amiss while dealing with a travel agent, always trust your instincts and make sure of the efficacy of your agent and whether they are genuine. Check out our list on how to identify a fake travel agent and the steps to ensure your safety thereof.

Ask For Verified Registration And Credentials

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Fake travel agents often lack proper credentials or licences. They will gloss over the subject of their history in the business and will be ambiguous about their registration with any verified institution. Ask them to produce a verification of their accreditation with industry organisations. The idea behind such verification is that such associations with legible organisations is a marker of performance. These organisations conduct rigorous quality assessments, making it almost impossible for frauds to get a membership.

Check For Dubious Contact Information

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No physical space and two phones, or a constantly ringing phone is a red flag. Be cautious if the travel agent's contact information is limited to an email address or mobile phone number. Legitimate agents have a physical office address and landline contact details. Scammers tend often to deal with their customers only on phone to ensure that they can’t be traced if their act is caught. If the travel agents ask you to meet at a public place outside, you can always look for a different one.

Identify Pressure Sales Tactics

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Fake agents may use psychological approaches like high-pressure sales tactics, trying to push you into making a quick decision. Legitimate agents should provide information and allow you to make an informed choice at your own pace. They will prioritise your satisfaction and seek to empower you with comprehensive information. They understand that planning a trip is a significant investment, and they encourage you to take your time in making a well-informed choice that aligns with your preferences and budget. Therefore, it's crucial to maintain your composure, thoroughly evaluate the offer, and ensure that it aligns with your travel goals and financial capabilities before making any commitments. Ensure that you are not haggled into choosing a lucrative package for it might lead into a major financial loss and a ruined vacation.

Refuse Unusual Payment Methods

Scammers often request payment in cash, wire transfers, or cryptocurrencies. Legitimate travel agents typically accept secure payment methods, such as credit cards, checks, or online payment platforms. The fake travel agents will even offer you to pay for forged documents unlike the legible ones who have a reputation to protect. You must ensure the legitimacy of your travel agent through online research and street information as well as cross checking with the bank if they have given you bank details. Always hold on to making the payment until you are completely sure about your agent.

Unsubscribe From Unrealistic Deals

Fake travel agents will have you go to Mars and back in just the money that you pay for rent. Be sceptical of deals that seem too good to be true. If the price is significantly lower than what other reputable travel agencies offer, it may be a scam. All the lucrative offers, especially the ones that seem bogus but invite you to gamble, are constructed very dexterously to dupe travellers. Research and figure out the market prices, compare the package deals and only then make a decision.

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