The Better Business Bureau says victims lost an average of $5,000 to travel, vacation or timeshare scams in 2019. (Pixabay photo)

Travel, timeshare scams return to Better Business Bureau’s top 10 fraud list in 2019

Victims lost an average of $5,000 to travel, vacation or timeshare scams last year

The Better Business Bureau says travel, vacation and timeshare scams topped the list of frauds that cost victims thousands of dollars last year.

The Better Business Bureau in mainland British Columbia says shady travel deals returned to its list of riskiest scams in 2019 after a three-year absence.

It says victims lost an average of $5,000 to travel, vacation or timeshare scams.

Consumers reported being hit with exorbitant closing fees on fraudulent timeshare sales, while the bureau reports travellers dreaming of budget vacations were often taken in by deals that were unrealistically cheap.

ALSO READ: Cat-phishing tops list of Better Business Bureau’s 10 scams of 2018

It advises timeshare sellers to thoroughly research potential brokers and says anyone looking for vacation or travel deals should be familiar with expected costs and use the bureau’s website to identify reputable, dependable travel agencies and agents.

The bureau says advance fee loans and online romance frauds rounded out the top three risky scams, with losses tallied at about $4,000 for a romance con and $1,500 for an advance fee fraud.

Danielle Primrose, president and CEO of the bureau in mainland B.C., says fake invoices have also made a comeback after several years off the Top 10 list, with scammers often successfully fooling employees into paying for products that a business did not order and may not even exist.

The latest report is based on data supplied by consumers to the bureau’s scam tracker.

ALSO READ: Better Business Bureau says wait to donate to Notre Dame rebuild

Primrose says a healthy marketplace is created by consumer awareness and principled businesses.

“Scams undermine trust in the marketplace, distort the level playing field, and siphon money from legitimate transactions that benefit both businesses and consumers, thus impeding economic growth,” she says in a statement.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Haida Gwaii farmers hope to have market online by mid-April

Physical markets will continue to operate as an essential service

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

Odds n’ Sods: COVID-19 from a traveller

Elaine Nyeholt’s column for the Haida Gwaii Observer

Several construction projects delayed on Haida Gwaii due to COVID-19

Construction crews sent home; new QC fire hall, two BC Housing projects delayed indefinitely

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Most Read