A growing number of customers use social media to plan their travel bookings as Instagram is the new travel agency.
Social media is considered as a platform that welcomes innovative ideas, which then become trend. There are more than 100 Instagram pages only for travel agencies.
Keerthi, Co-ordinator of Tripper Trail said, “We make sure that our customers are not facing any problems. Also, we try to send all the trip details by asking them for their phone number. I call them and inform them about what they have to do for further procedure. You know these people need to first verify and then book something. Customers should mainly focus on the credibility of the page – whether it is verified or not.”
However, some of these accounts are fake, which came as a rude shock to several customers. Sahil Choudhary, a travel enthusiast said, “We booked a camp night at Nandi Hills. The agency claimed that we would have all kinds of fun activities there and we were excited about it. When we reached there, we found out that the facilities they promised weren’t there and they were very rude to us and there was no agency as such. We had almost paid 10K for just doing nothing there. It was a big loss.”
While this scam is a growing concern among social media users, no case has been formally registered yet. Ravichandar B, an internet security manager said, “The internet, like any other market, comes with its fair share of fraud sellers. Some websites have a badge to show the product is genuine. For others, we must learn to do a background check and verify the product or service we are buying by means of review.”
This is one of the reasons why the saying “don’t believe everything on the internet” holds true.