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Key Tips to Travel to the Philippines Safely and Avoid Scams

Key Tips to Travel to the Philippines Safely and Avoid Scams

Any travel purchase these days might look like a leap of faith. Travelers to the Philippines make large upfront payments before arriving, in hopes that they can enjoy the trip they pre-paid for, however, tourists are popular targets in this country.

According to tourism forecasts the revenue in the travel and tourism market is projected to reach $3.7 billion in 2023. The Philippines’ tourist influx is anticipated to grow as a result of China’s plan to relax its travel restrictions regarding COVID-19, and the Philippines welcomes the return of one of its main sources of tourists. Before the pandemic, China was the Philippines’ second-largest travel market, with 1.74 million Chinese tourists visiting the country in 2019. The Philippine Department of Tourism pointed out that China is not only a major source of travelers, but they also are high-spending travelers. The United States, Australia, the U.K., and South Korea account for most of the rest of the visitors to the Philippines, which sum up to over 2.65 million foreign tourists.   With these figures, it is easy to picture why con artists want to scam unwary travelers out of their money. Philippines private investigators have offered advice to stay safe.

Watch out for fake bargains and fake company websites

Travelers are becoming increasingly desperate to find bargains as household budgets shrink and the cost of travel rises. This is known to fraudsters. Many tourists prioritize the deal over safety, and since most good deals have a short deadline, victims pay without caring to verify. This is a common mistake that is made when people think they’re going to miss out on a great deal, and it’s used not only in travel scams but also in investment fraud. Before sending money to a stranger (even if they seem legit at first glance) ask many questions and contact a local private detective in Manila or Cebu that can verify the travel agency is registered and in good standing.

The risk of falling prey to scammers increases when searching for independent accommodations instead of renowned hotels. Sure, a private villa can be less expensive and more appealing, however, fraudsters can easily create websites that advertise properties that belong to other people, and might not even be available for rent.

Read the website thoroughly. Many scam websites are created by copying and pasting content from legitimate travel companies. If you can’t find a telephone to contact the company directly, or if something seems strange to you, consider employing a company verification service in the Philippines.  Verify your business contact and company before investing.

Keep in mind that an internet search or unverified documents such as invoices are not evidence that a travel agency exists or that they operate legally. Use secure payment methods like credit cards and when using services like Airbnb don’t break the payment rules to obtain a discount. The price might be higher when paid through the platform, but it’s safer.

If you are defrauded, don’t expect to be able to recover your money. Criminals may leave a cyber trail, and banks may have some details of their identity, but because the sums involved are relatively small in terms of policing, travel frauds are frequently overlooked.

C. Wright

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