Take a look at these tips to help avoid being a victim:
*Stay away from travel offers that sound "too good to be true," particularly if you have been solicited by phone or have received a postcard or certificate in the mail.
*Never give your credit card number or any information about your bank accounts over the phone to a solicitor unless you initiate the transaction and you are confident about the company with which you are doing business. Never give a courier a cashier's check or money order in exchange for information about a travel package.
*Get the complete details in writing about any trip prior to payment. These details should include the total cost (including taxes, port charges, service fees, and surcharges), terms and conditions, restrictions, cancellation penalties, if any, and specific information about all components of the package.
*If you insist on calling a 900 number in response to a travel solicitation, understand the charges and know the risks.
*Walk away from high pressure sales presentations which don't allow you time to evaluate the offer or which require that you disclose your income.
*Be cautious with companies which require that you wait at least 60 days to take your trip or require that you select several dates of departure for your trip.