The AARP Fraud Watch Network offers free resources that empower and educate the public. The AARP Fraud Watch Network is working to empower consumers to spot and avoid scams, and to provide support and guidance to victims and their families when fraud happens.
Visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more tips on staying safe from scams and fraud, including travel scams, vacation scams and holiday scams. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline 877-908-3360 if you think you or a loved one may have spotted or fallen victim to a scam.
AARP FRAUD WATCH NETWORK
Online travel agencies use false advertising tactics to pressure people into purchasing a room. These include offering false discounts (“Special Rate!”) and creating a false sense of urgency (“Only 3 Rooms Left!” “211 Other People Are Looking At This Room!”). These are misleading claims. It’s important to note that most hotels will offer a best price guarantee when you book directly.
BE AWARE OF FALSE ADVERTSING
Before providing your credit card information, check the following:
What is the cancellation/trip change policy?
Is it a secure payment site? The URL should have a small lock and should start with https:// as opposed to just http://.
Is the site, in any way, affiliated with the hotel?
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Some booking sites will go so far as to use the hotel’s brand name in the URL. Take an extra minute to make sure you’re on the real hotel’s booking site. Always check the URL address. Although the hotel name may be part of the URL, double check the website address to ensure it’s not a third-party vendor using a hotel’s identity without permission. These misleading sites frequently pop up at or near the top of search rankings. Make sure you know who you’re giving your information to.
LOOK BEFORE YOU BOOK
Sign up for loyalty programs at your favorite hotels. They’re free and offer amazing benefits – and they’re only getting better, as hotels continue to introduce new perks to their programs. Always book directly with the hotel to make sure you’re getting your points.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOYALTY PROGRAMS
This can help ensure you get what you want and need from your reservation and often provides the better value.
BOOK DIRECTLY WITH THE HOTEL OR A TRUSTED TRAVEL AGENT