At Lifehacker, we're big fans of hunting down discount holidays, but it always pays to exercise a little caution. The festive season is also fertile ground for scammers to prey on your desire for a bargain, the ACCC warns.
Picture by johnas
The regulator yesterday issued a press release warning that telemarketing scams selling "discounted" holiday vouchers are rife at this time of year. As deputy commissioner Peter Kell pointed out:
This time each year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission receives complaints from holiday makers who find that the cheap accommodation vouchers they have paid for either don't arrive, are fakes, or simply can't be used as promised. Often the vouchers have been bought by credit card during an enticing but unsolicited call from a telemarketer or after receiving a fax offering accommodation at heavily discounted prices. These can include holidays at Phuket, Koh Samui or Bali or Australian locations. If the vouchers do arrive, consumers find that when they go to book their holidays, additional charges need to be paid in order to secure accommodation or the accommodation provider has no knowledge of the voucher or deal.
As ever, doing some online checking of prospective deals — and keeping a close eye on credit card statements — remain the best defence.
Suffered a holiday scam? Tell us how you coped in the comments.