Morrisey offers tips for worry-free holiday travel

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminds consumers to be cautious when making holiday travel plans or purchasing a vacation for someone on their list.

Consumers should get reviews from reputable travel websites and/or family and friends to avoid falling prey to any scam. Consumers should deal with established websites and vendors.

“It is important that consumers watch for and avoid scams as they plan holiday trips to catch up with friends and family or get away to a warmer climate,” Morrisey said. “Whether it is planning a vacation for yourself or treating someone on your gift list to a vacation, a little caution can go a long way.”

Consumers must take a cautious look at advertisements that offer a luxurious vacation for a minimal price and ads that provide few specifics. The better a vacation package sounds, the more important it is to verify the fine print.

Additional tips include:

Know cancellation and refund policies.

Keep a close eye on banking statements during and following travel.

Pay with a credit card, as it gives consumers certain protections to dispute charges.

Be wary of any company that asks for payment via money order or pre-paid debit card.

Be cautious of firms that ask for payment before confirming reservations.

Be wary of vacation offers that are “good today only.”

Confirm the requested property exists at the listed physical address as opposed to booking a website’s good deal without verification.

Watch for third-party links that redirect consumers to an independent booking agency, which may charge additional fees.

Consumers with questions can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

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