MRC 015 ICCC issues warning on travel scams Papua New Guinea’s consumer watchdog, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) is alerting consumers of travel scams that are normally sent through emails or internet pop-ups. ICCC Commissioner and CEO Dr Billy Manoka said: “The Commission is warning that before accepting any strange emails or pop-ups, take time to assess and determine whether the message or emailsare genuine. The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network, of which the ICCC is a member, has been monitoring travel scams through an annual “Internet Sweep” carried out by consumer watchdogs from around the world and is, increasingly, coming across these scams. ” To help consumers determine a travel scam, here are fivethingsto look out for: 1. You “won a free vacation,” but you have to pay some fees first. A legitimate company won’t ask you to pay for a prize. 2. The prize company wants your credit card number. Even if they say it’s just for “verification,” “taxes,” or “port fees,” don’t give it to them. 3. They cold-call, cold-text, or email you out of the blue. Before you do business with any company you don’t know, contact the ICCC to check on complaints; then, search online by entering the company name and the word “complaints” or “scam.” 4. They don’t - or can’t - give you specifics. They promise a stay at a “five-star” resort or a cruise on a “luxury” ship.The more vague the promises, the less likely they’ll be true. Ask for specifics, and get them in writing. 5. You get pressure to sign up for a travel club for great deals on future vacations. The pressure to sign up or miss out is a sign to walk away. Travel clubs often have high membership fees and limited choice of destinations or travel dates. If you think you may have been targeted by a travel scam, report it to the ICCC on 3252144 or email Brian Ivosa on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .