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

New immigrants to Victoria have online options to combat isolation

The Inter-Cultural Association is going digital to comply with COVID-19 standards

VicPD expands online reporting to keep 911 call-takers free during pandemic

Incidents can be reported online if no information is known of a suspect

Big band fundraiser show at Dunnet theatre rescheduled for Sept. 26

Jazz singer Joe Coughlin, band leader Phil Dwyer remain booked for show

Minor earthquake hits Greater Victoria Saturday morning

Earthquake ‘lightly felt’ in the area, Earthquake Canada says

“Isolation is normal for us,” says Saanich dad with cystic fibrosis

Gordon Head man says now’s the time to approve life-saving cystic fibrosis drug

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Most Read