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Vacation season brings out scammers

Dreaming of an off-season hiatus at an affordable price?

You’re not alone. And that makes you a potential target of a scammer.

The Oregon Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, has issued a warning that if you receive a phone call promising a freebie vacation that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The DOJ has issued a warning that scammers are out in force offering tantalizing travel deals. To avoid being taken, the DOJ is advising people to look for these six warning signs that a promised sun-filled getaway isn’t what it seems:

n You “won a free vacation,” but you’re asked to pay fees up front. A legitimate company will never ask you to pay for a prize.

n The prize company wants your credit card number. Tip off here is that they will tell you they need your information for “verification,” “port fees” or “taxes.” Do not provide the information.

n You get a cold-call, cold-text or email out of the blue. If you didn’t enter a contest, or don’t know of the company, do some research before you agree to do business with them. Call the attorney general’s office in the company’s home state and inquire about complaints against the business.

n They don’t, or can’t, give you specifics. If they promise a stay at a “five star” resort, or a cruise on a “luxury” ship but cannot provide details, be wary. Ask for specifics about the resort or cruise line (like the name and location of the resort or cruise line and trip itinerary). Request that the details be put in writing.

n You’re pressured to sign up for a travel club for great deals on future vacations. If you’re told, “sign up or miss out,” walk away. Travel clubs often have high membership fees and limited choices in destinations or travel dates.

n You get a robocall about a great deal or free vacation. Robocalls from companies are illegal, unless you have provided written permission for them to contact you. This applies even if you haven’t signed up for the national Do Not Call registry.

If you think you have been targeted by a travel scam, or for more information on what to be wary of, contact the Oregon Department of Justice at oregonconsumer.gov.




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