Criminals can easily copy or create a fake website that can look like an official one. Others use social media to pose as a certified travel agent and offer discounted travel services.
In either case, their goal is to get people to hand over their money, often by asking the victim to pay by cash or bank transfer. Both types of payment, however, open the potential for fraud and are not among standard Transat procedures. If you wish to pay in cash or by bank transfer, it is preferable that the transaction be conducted directly at the travel agency office.
February 2, 2020 | Transat warns the public about fake travel consultants
Someone used social networks and classified ads to pose as a certified travel agent to get people to hand over their money.
Transat alerted Québec’s Office de la protection du consommateur and strongly advised anyone who had dealt with this fake agent or was concerned about the legitimacy of their transaction to do the same.
In order to minimize the risks of falling victim to fraud, Transat has some recommendations regarding a transaction conducted elsewhere than with a trusted travel agency:
- Ensure that the person you are dealing with holds a travel consultant’s licence. This information can be checked with provincial regulatory authorities:
- In Quebec, their name must appear in the Office de la protection du consommateur’s register of travel consultants;
- In Ontario, the Travel Industry Council of Ontario recommends that you ask the consultant to show you their licence or check directly with the travel agency.
- Travel consultants must be affiliated with a licensed agency that also holds a licence. Check that your agent is authorized to represent said agency.
- Demand an invoice when making payment or a deposit. It should contain, among others, the following information:
- o Transaction date;
- o Transaction amount;
- o Travel consultant’s name;
- o Travel agency’s licence number;
- o Description of the product purchased, etc.
If you have been defrauded, please contact your local police force and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.