Better Business Bureaus across the United States and Canada are warning consumers about an increase in deceptive travel-related offers, arriving unexpectedly in consumers' mailboxes or over the telephone, office fax machine or Internet.

Typically, the consumer is told they have won a "free" trip and must call a number to claim their prize.
Or they receive a fax at their place of business promoting an unbelievable vacation deal that looks as if it came through interoffice channels, others were contacted by someone offering a travel club membership, reportedly worth thousand of dollars.

According to BBB experiences, some bogus promoters have been known to take consumers' money without providing the travel or trip that was promised. Other promoters advertise rock-bottom prices but hide certain fees until the deal is sealed.

Some promise luxurious accommodations and services but deliver far less. Still others don't reveal that the deal includes an obligation to sit through a timeshare pitch at the destination.

Finally, some promoters guarantee consumers they can get a full refund if they decide to cancel the trip but fail to make good on their promise. Remember a guarantee only is as good as the company making the offer.

The Better Business Bureau urges travel planners to verify the reliability of the business offering the travel services or accommodations, and obtain in writing all travel package details before you pay any fee, no matter how small.

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