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

‘Do not push the button’: Downtown Kelowna crossings go touchless amid COVID-19 pandemic

The pedestrian crossings at 19 intersections were automated last week to reduce contact points

Join the Regional District on Instagram Live

The Regional District of Central Okanagan parks interpretive programs are going online

COVID-19: Diabetes Canada donation bins becoming garbage dumps amid pandemic

Diabetes Canada has asked residents to stop overflowing bins with donations and garbage

Okanagan College students receive emergency funding

Funding is available to domestic and Indigenous students from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Lake Country ceases tourism operations for 2020, Okanagan tourism continues to suffer

The District of Lake Country voted to suspend tourism on March 31

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Summerland couple sharing positive messages

Carsten and Val Nielsen are displaying professionally made signs during COVID-19 pandemic

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

COVID-19: Vernon company creates reusable respirators

From athletes to those most at risk, VO2 Master’s adapts production to fill PPE need

Okanagan College grading system critical despite COVID-19 pandemic

On heels of petition penned by student, VP academic says grading system necessary for accurate assessments

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Most Read