EDISON - As the summer in New Jersey continues, many from the state are booking vacations to get away. A Kane In Your Corner Consumer Alert looks into how to avoid getting scammed while planning the trip.
Vanessa Andresen and Dawn Sudol say they booked a European vacation through an online travel agent. They were shown pictures of amazing hotels that were close to all the sights they wanted to see.
However, once the two women arrived in Rome, they knew something was wrong. They were not staying at the four-star hotel they were promised, instead they were stuck at a camping village.
"It had bunk beds, no towels and one sheet," says Sudol.
The New Jersey Better Business Bureau says they get hundreds of calls each year from people who complain about vacation scams.
"They lure you in with these gorgeous photos of a luxurious property and a lot of times they are listed at very low price," says Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Melissa Companick.
The Better Business Bureau says there are a few ways to protect oneself from vacation scams. These include using a reputable travel agency that has been researched before booking the trip, confirming the reservation with the hotel directly and getting reservations in writing. Also, never pay upfront fees.
Experts also say to never wire money for payment, only use credit cards so charges can be disputed if things are not as they seem.