A phony travel agency recently tricked a group of Tennessee dance students out of more than $60,000, charging them for hotel rooms and Disney tickets that were ultimately never booked. It's a good reminder to look before you leap.
The dance team thought they had booked a dream vacation, until they arrived.
"Unfortunately after they arrived, they found accommodations they expected were not there, tickets that were expected for the theme park were not booked," said Michele Mason with the Better Business Bureau.
Mason said the dance team used a travel promotion company.
Fortunately, some of the parents chipped in, and the team was able to salvage the trip, but it is a good reminder to make sure you verify all your accommodations and tickets will be there, especially if you are not familiar with the company.
Do your research: if you are using a travel agency, check them out with the BBB.
Pay with a credit card: the Tennessee dancers used personal checks. When using a credit card, you can dispute the charges if the business doesn't come through.
Avoid buying tickets on sites, such as eBay or Craigslist, that do not specifically cater to travel.
Never buy partially used passes. Not only is it illegal to sell partial passes, but Disney uses a finger scanning system to ensure that multi-day passes are used by the same person each time.
Finally, remember the gold standard saying: if the prices are too good to be true, they usually are.