The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is advising consumers to book their travel and holidays through accredited Australian travel agents.
The ACCC issued its advice after receiving 1650 complaints about travel scams this year, with AUD 100,000 reported lost.
“If you are looking to go on a holiday, you can use a travel agent to make sure you get legitimate accommodation,” the ACCC advised.
“If using a travel agent, find out if they are accredited through the Australian Federation of Travel Agents’ ATAS scheme. ATAS-accredited agents must abide by a code of conduct and have dispute resolution procedures in place.”
An upsurge in travel scams has prompted the ACCC to issue a warning to consumers.
Most complainants were contacted by phone and many were offered holiday vouchers for AUD 2000 or AUD 3000, the ACCC said. Others were sold fake trips to Florida or the Bahamas including tickets to theme parks or cruises at greatly discounted rates.
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see also: 'Top 5 Travel Scams to avoid when travelling this summer'