Fraud in the purchase of tourist packages in Jalisco has increased by up to 200% over the past three years, informed the president of the Mexican Association of Western Travel Agencies (AMAV), Juan Felipe Lozano Rodríguez.
“I believe that, without fear of being wrong, the number of frauds has increased by more than 200%and since we fell into a pandemic, the national network has within the cyber police, in the continuity of the frauds, a means of seeking to prevent them (to combat the problem)”, he assured.
Every hour 7.91 cyber frauds are registered in the entity and 250 nationally since the beginning of the health emergency, the amount of what they steal varies between two thousand and 37 thousand pesos.
The President of AMAV West pointed out that in most cases the “agencies ghosts“They offer fairly affordable packages, which serve as an anchor to attract customers. Apart from the fact that the requirements and experience demanded of these companies in order for them to operate are not necessarily the strictest: “You want to sell travel, you don’t need experience, we just talk to each other phone and tell you how. I think a lot of people intend to generate this fraud,” he said.
It is during holiday periods, such as Easter and Easter, that travel agency fraud tends to increase. Given this situation, Lozano Rodríguez recommended that consumers check that the agency in which they are going to acquire their tourist package is registered with an association or institution, in order to have guarantees in the event that this type of situation would arise.
“My recommendation would be to acquire from an agency affiliated with an association or institution that supports it because, at the end of the day, it isWe are the ones who check that they meet the minimum requirements and that they are registered with the General Secretariat for Tourism and obviously have a registration with the SAT; the simplest, if we want to buy a package, is to give an invoice; by giving you an invoice, we imply that we have all the legal elements to be able to generate a complaint; in case of fraud and we are also going to guarantee that it exists”, underlined the president of the AMAV de Occidente, who added that 44 companies with all the online requirements are registered in his association.
Currently, within the association There is a directory of travel agencies, which is approved by the Chamber of Commerce of Guadalajara, the State Secretariat for Tourism and other institutions. stores, where you can check which agencies are safe to buy a package.
On the other hand, he pointed out that Before making the purchase of the package, they communicate directly with the hotel and/or the airline to ensure that the prices and that the promotions coincide with those offered by the agencies and that the status of the place is reserved.
According to cybersecurity firm Fortinet, during last year, there were 3.1 billion attempted cyberattacks between tourism businesses, financial institutions, among others, derivatives of the pandemic, containment measures and remote work.
Download package purchase
After three years of weak tourist package sales in the entity, the figures have been on the rise, since so far this holiday season they are seeing an increase of up to 80% over last yearaccording to the president of the AMAV of the West.
“The truth is that the previous year was more than difficult, the year was quite a challenge, people were still afraid to travel, we continued with the most severe restrictions and acquiring the packages meant that we We were booking with cancellations and postponing this that made us bear this difficulty quite strongly the year before,” said Lozano Rodríguez.
Most of the packages offered by travel agencies have Puerto Vallarta as the main destination; however, in the last few days there has been an increase in destinations such as Cancun, Los Cabos, Oaxaca and Mexico City, this at the national level; while full international packages were sold to places like Dubai, Turkey and Egypt.
One very successful travel agency this year has been Travel City, whose sales so far at Easter are up 70% on last year.
Each agency runs different packages and services, but all have seen a significant increase in sales, and more so now that state government restrictions have been eased.
How to avoid being the victim of a fraudulent tourist offer?
- Before making the purchase of the tourist package, you must communicate directly with the hotel and/or the airlines to make sure the prices and promotions are genuine.
- Check that the travel agency where the package is going to be purchased is registered with an association or organization for the sale to be secure.
- Find out more from the agencies that have a registration with the SAT for this purpose.
- Always demand an invoice from the seller to guarantee the purchase of the package, and in the event of fraud, make elements necessary to continue