Since the beginning of this year, according to the Federal Trade CommissionUS consumers have been scammed out of more than $28 million. Travel and vacation complaints top the list with most reports. The FTC has received over 6,600 travel-related consumer fraud complaints, which total $10.6 million dollars in losses across the country.
RELATED: Beware of these COVID-19 scams, which have bilked consumers of nearly $6 million
Amber Jennings had a flight booked to get away to London. COVID-19 canceled that trip.
"The flights were canceled, and the company that we booked through---it's just been a nightmare trying to get our money back even though the flights were canceled," Jennings said.
Despite the airlines confirming they refunded the tickets in full, the third-party booking company Jennings used to book the flights that the company wants to charge Amber $150.00 to get her money back.
"To me, it's sketchy sounding that I have to pay them before they would even process it, because I even asked them, could they just take the money and deduct from what they're going to refund me? And they're like, 'No you have to pay us, and then we pay you back,' and that just doesn't sit well with me," Jennings said.
RELATED: Triangle travelers deal with frustrations over canceled plans amid coronavirus pandemic
To protect yourself, if you have any travel plans in the next few months, here are the Troubleshooter Takeaways:
- Always pay with a credit card--it's easier to dispute the charge if something happens.
- While you may save money using third-party websites, read the fine print, especially the cancellation policy, and what happens if the airline or hotel cancels on you.
- Check for extra fee charges, if you do want to make any changes to your travel plans.
- Before you book any new travel, you need to look at not only the travel restrictions in that area but also what amenities and businesses are open.