How to identify a fake travel agency

The past few months have been a season of relocation. A lot of Nigerians have left the country due to various personal reasons in search of greener pastures. Most people are still planning to relocate to other countries from Nigeria. 

However, it is no longer news that a lot of criminals will want to use this season of the rush abroad to defraud a lot of people. 

It won’t be a good experience to lose millions of naira to fake travel agents. This is why you need to watch out for a number of things while sourcing for travel agents so you don’t fall victim. 

Below are a few things you need to do while sourcing for travel agents.

1. Get your facts and make research 

Before you search for travel agents, get as much information as you can get. Make enquiries from people around you and the ones that have gone through the same process. 

After getting a travel agent, you need to make sure the agent supplies you with facts about your trip and every other information related to it. 

Compare the agent’s information with the ones you’ve gathered. By this, you will be able to spot fake agents through fake information. 

Your agent should be able to give you adequate information regarding your itinerary and other travel costs pertaining to your trip.

If your agent performs lesser than this then this could be a red flag that you should withdraw from such dealings before you are ripped off of your cash.

2. Watch out for accredited agents

This is proof that such a business organisation is genuine and trustworthy. Accreditation shows that the company is a legitimate business organisation and gives you more assurance that you are in safe hands. 

If there is no proof of documentation or accreditation, be sure that you are about to get duped. You can go as far as asking people who have used the same travel agents before in order to be sure. A legitimate travel agent ought to be endorsed by the accredited agency that had been put in place. 

Do not transact business with a travel agent that has no proof of accreditation.

3. Address of office

Most fake travel agents either have no office or transact business in shady areas. You need to be extra careful while dealing with travel agents. A travel agency ought to have staff and workers who work for the company. 

A travel agency without an address can be extremely risky. This will make it hard for you to trace them when you are being scammed.  Avoid transacting business with them at home or in dark areas.

4. Beware of outrageous discount 

There is a popular saying in Nigeria that goes, “awoof dey ru belle”. When a travel agent offers you an unrealistic travelling cost, this should be a red flag for you. 

You need to be realistic especially when your travel agent pretends to be helping you by giving you alternatives. This alternative might end you in trouble. 

A lot of travel agents advise travellers to travel by sea, passing through deserts to reduce the travel cost or flight fee. Most travellers end up having bitter experiences. Beware of free trips or flights. 

Whenever you notice your travel agent is suggesting possible solutions that are too real to be true, do research and ask for people’s views before going ahead to accept such an offer.

5. Be cautious of the agreements

It is very important that you read through every document given to you by your travel agents before signing or filling out any form. 

If you notice you are asked to sign an agreement that makes you give up your freedom or rights, then you should know something is not right. 

Travel agents can sense people who are desperate to travel so they tend to use this as a tool to manipulate you. They make you sign agreements that might threaten your life and those around you. 

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