- Rising vaccination rates means that tourism is on its way back – and so are travel scammers.
- Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Steve Daines have called on the FTC to do more to protect travelers.
- “It is critical to ensure that Americans understand how to recognize travel scams and their recourse options,” they wrote.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
With the travel industry poised to boom thanks to rising coronavirus vaccination rates, scammers could very well target would-be travelers in the coming months, spoiling many long-awaited vacations.
Two senators are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to do more to protect tourists from scammers, as travel is slated to spike along with coronavirus vaccination rates. United States Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Steve Daines of Montana sent a letter to the FTC on Thursday asking the commission to bolster protections for travelers and expressing “concern” over reports detailing a proliferation of travel scams.
“While the FTC posts advisories pertaining to travel scams, we believe that more must be done to protect consumers,” the senators wrote. “Travel reservations made on fraudulent websites can be costly and stressful for travelers, and it is critical to ensure that Americans understand how to recognize travel scams and their recourse options should they fall victim to these scams.”
Since the pandemic began, Americans have reported a loss of $434.6 million to different types of fraud to the FTC. Of that, $73.1 million came from fraud around vacations and travel.
Payments company Flywire found that 7 out of 10 frequent travelers say they’ll likely spend more on travel in 2022. But more tourists also means more scammers looking to prey on travelers. Travel scams could take the form of fraudsters disguised as booking agents or counterfeit tickets being sold online. The FTC’s website warns consumers of rental-listing rip-offs, timeshare tricks, and sweepstakes swindles.
In their letter, the senators also included four specific questions addressed to acting FTC chief Rebecca Kelly Slaughter about the commission’s coordination with the Department of Justice, any additional measures needed to “better protect consumers,” data around travel scams, and “additional resources” that the organization may need to better address travel scams.
This isn’t the first time that Klobuchar has crossed party lines on the issue of tourism. She introduced the Protecting Tourism in the United States Act in February, along with Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.
Read the entire letter from Klobuchar and Daines here:
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