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

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read