Have you imagined how sad you will be after losing your hard-worked money to fake travel agencies? It’s going to be very devastated, and the sad news is that these fake agencies keep increasing daily, these call for caution when choosing a travel agency.
How can you spot a fake travel agency in Nigeria? it is possible to spot a fake travel agency in Nigeria, you should have to observant of their mode of business operation, and their communication channel. Below is the breakdown of how you can spot a fake travel agency in Nigeria.
- No Physical Office
A fake travel agency will always shy away from having a physical office. A genuine travel agency always has an office location with is registered in their business details with CAC with staff handling the business engagements.
So before choosing a travel agency, ensure you meet them at an office, and that location must be the same as on their details with CAC. Never meet a travel agency in a restaurant, nor on online meetings. Please be suspicious of travel agencies you meet on social media handles who insist you guys meet in a different state or have a phone conversation.
- Encourages shortcuts
When a travel agency starts coaching you on how to break immigration protocols or use a faster route (which is usually a secret route), run with your both legs, they are fake.
A genuine travel agency always follows the laid down procedures of the immigration office.
- When they insist you must never contact them, that only they will contact you at a given time
This is one of the obvious signs that you are dealing with a fake travel agency. You should be able to contact a real agency anytime as long it is within business hours. Anytime, you call a travel agency during business hours and hear. “we are unavailable, you will be contacted later, “it is an indicator you are dealing with a fraudster.
- When they demand you pay them by cash
When a travel agency demands you pay cash instead of through banks or your card, you should be suspicious of them. This is because through cash, there is no way the money can be tracked to you, and they can even deny collecting money from you because there is no evidence. But when you transfer the money via bank or use your card, it can be tracked, printed, and use in a court of law as a piece of evidence.
- Selling Juicy, “too-good-to-be-true” deals?
Most times, these fake travel agencies sell very juicy deals to naive travelers. Imagine they telling you they can get you to the UK with just $200. When you see this kind of deal that seems not true, please run away from them. Their aim is to entice you in falling for unrealistic deals, and after collecting your money, they run away.
The rule of thumb states that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
- Unverifiable accreditation
Before choosing a travel agency, ensure that they are fully accredited. All genuine travel agencies belong to registered associations and have registered members. So when a travel agency doesn’t belong to a registered association, you should be suspicious of it.
To be on the safer side, do ask for the company registration documents, and business licenses. This helps to keep you safe. The importance of this cannot be over-emphasized because if you are dealing with a registered travel agency, you can easily report them to their association in case of any indifferences.
- Lack or unreal customer reviews
Every genuine travel agency has customer reviews to attest to their services on their websites. If you check their website, and there are no reviews, you should know that you are dealing with a fake airline. Also, if the reviews are too true, you should be skeptical about them, because some travel agencies pay people to write spicy reviews on their websites.
To be safer, always seek recommendations from people you know and trust. These people will tell you the truth.
- Fake websites
Genuine travel agencies make use of websites, as such fake travel agencies also make use of websites, but theirs are fake. These fake agencies create fake websites and shut them down after some money when they have successfully dumped enough people.
So one indicator to determine whether a website is genuine or fake is to ascertain the level of the webpage security. If the webpage is not secure, don’t input your financial details, kindly stay away from them.
- Fake travel agencies insist on doing business only over the phone
Speaking to your travel agencies over the phone is the wrong thing, but when it becomes the only source of communication, you have to be suspicious. If they insist on signing a verbal contract without you having to deal with either official email, you should be skeptical about it. Always demand to have the first meeting in their registered office, and in the signing of the contract, it should be done over the official email. Also ensure it is a business email, not a personal one. Ensure that there are documents signed and sealed before starting the traveling process so that it won’t be their words against yours.
- They encourage you to apply for a visa even when you have been denied
This is one of the easiest ways to identify a fake travel agency in Nigeria. they encourage you to apply for a visa if when you are denied without asking you why you were denied and the circumstances behind the denial.
They will encourage you to start the traveling arrangement when it is clear that you aren’t getting the visa. This is because they are only bothered about your money, not your security. Any travel agency that suggests you lie or use forged documents for visa application is a fake one, and you should run away from them.
Remember that your security matters while traveling. So ensure you take your time to choose a travel agency so that you won’t be scammed of your hard-earned money or your life be put at risk, such as the people that were advised to go through the Sahara desert to get to Europe, where some ended up dying on the desert, while some ended up as sex slaves and prisoners in Libya.