Travel Scams You Need To Know About - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: Consumer Alert

Travel Scams You Need To Know About

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by Jennifer Kraus
Consumer Investigator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's that time of year when we're all thinking about summer vacations and getaways, but there are scam artists out there who are taking advantage of this to get your money.

The federal government announced a major crackdown on travel and timeshare scams Thursday.

We're talking about two things: First travel scams where you get a call saying you've won a free or discounted vacation, but you actually have to pay for it through fees or by sitting through a high-pressure sales presentation.

Also, the timeshare reselling scams are where a company will claim it will resell your timeshare to buyers they've already supposedly lined up, but first you have to pay hefty up-front fees. Then the promised sale falls through and you lose your money.

Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission announced a major crackdown on dozens of these operations, both across the country and in 10 other countries.

They say authorities have taken action against nearly 200 of these companies and the people running them.

Here in Tennessee, the Attorney General's office told NewsChannel 5 Investigates they've gotten close to 200 complaints in the last five years about time share re-sellers and vacation scams.

The A.G.'s office also shared that it is taking a hard look at several Tennessee companies involved in this sort of thing.

So how do you know if something's a travel scam?

Here are a few red flags:

-If a company tells you you've won a free vacation, but you have to first pay fees.

-The prize company wants your credit card number.

-They won't or can't give you specifics.

-You're pressured to sign up for a travel club to get deals on future vacations.

-You get a robocall which incidentally are illegal unless you've given the company written permission ahead of time to call you.

And to keep from falling victim to timeshare resale scams, here are a few tips:

-Be sure to check out the company before you agree to anything.

-Deal only with licensed real estate brokers or agents.

-Get all terms in writing before you agree to anything.

-If at all possible, do business only with someone who gets paid after the timeshare is sold.

If you think you have fallen for one of these scams, be sure to report it. You can contact the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs at 615- 741-4737.

And for more information: Travel Safety Tips

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