While you are making holiday plans, scammers are plotting to steal your hard-earned dollars.
It happens every year—too late, holidaymakers find the discount accommodation vouchers they have paid for don't arrive, are fakes or simply can't be used as promised.
SCAMwatch has been advised that consumers are purchasing vouchers for heavily discounted holiday accommodation in locations such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Bali and even Australia by credit card during an enticing but unsolicited call from a telemarketer or after receiving a fax. In many cases these vouchers don't arrive. In other instances, consumers report receiving their vouchers but having to pay additional charges to secure their accommodation or being told the accommodation provider had no knowledge of the voucher or deal.
SCAMwatch is warning consumers to be cautious of any unsolicited offers they may receive and not to provide their credit card or personal details over the phone. Not only is it nearly impossible to obtain refunds from unscrupulous traders, you may also be helping these scammers commit identity fraud.
- Contact the accommodation provider and confirm the availability of the accommodation.
- Never provide your credit card details and other personal information to unsolicited callers—get the caller's details and say you will call them back after you have checked the offer. If they are genuine, they will be happy to provide their contact details—if not, hang up!
- Read all the terms and conditions of any offer very carefully—claims of free or very cheap deals often have hidden costs.
- Do not respond to unsolicited calls. Do not write back; do not call the telephone number you are given; and do not send any money, credit card details or other personal details. Responding only indicates that you're interested, and you could end up with many more fake offers in the future.
Report the matter via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.
Explore SCAMwatch for further information about current scams and tips on how to protect yourself. Read the ACCC's warning about cheap holiday accommodation offers.