A New York Defense Attorney Explains Crimes Involving Bogus Travel Agents
Travel agents and travel agencies provide an important service for clients. Agents can book trips, including excursions, hotels, and airline tickets. Clients may pay a small fee for the help of the travel agent or, more commonly, travel agents offer services to clients for free and are paid a commission by hotels, cruise ships, theme parks, and other hospitality businesses for booking trips.
While agents and agencies provide a valuable service, there are some situations where travel agency fraud or travel agent fraud occurs. This can happen when individuals or businesses pose as travel agents even though they are not actually in the industry. Travel agency fraud can occur in person, but is also common online.
If you are accused of involvement with a travel agency fraud scam, you should be aware you can be charged with serious criminal offenses. Travel agency owners and those who have posed as travel agents have been faced with federal charges for offenses like mail and wire fraud. Paying restitution is typically required following a conviction, and defendants in travel fraud cases could also be imprisoned- sometimes for a lengthy period of time.
You should not try to handle cases of travel agency fraud on your own. You need to be aggressive in defending yourself when accusations are raised because of the severity of the possible criminal charges. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience providing legal defense services to those accused of involvement with travel agency fraud. When you need a NY fraud lawyer who you can trust to help you develop a strategic defense strategy, give us a call right away.
What is Travel Agency Fraud?
Travel agency fraud broadly involves any scheme in which a travel agent, or someone posing as a travel agent, makes false or misleading claims or statements. Travel agency fraud can also involve material omissions, knowing that customers are relying on you for information.
Travel agency fraud on the Internet can involve the creation of fake travel agency websites. Consumers book trips on these sites and provide their credit card and personal identifying information. The credit card may be used or the numbers sold, and the personal identifying information can sometimes be used as part of an identity theft scam. The consumer does not get the trip that was booked, although his card is charged for it. Travel agent fraud and travel agency fraud online can also involve sending phishing emails claiming to be from a legitimate travel agency, or can involve hacking into legitimate sites or making fake sites that look and sound like legitimate travel agency websites, even borrowing the names of trusted agencies.
Travel agency fraud can also occur in person too. Agents and agencies could provide misleading information and up-charge consumers, or they could set up shop temporarily and defraud customers out of money for trips that never get booked before closing up and moving on.
Getting Help If Accused of Travel Agency Fraud
If you are involved in a fraud scam in any way, from acting as a fake travel agent to setting up a computer website for purposes of defrauding visitors, you can be charged with a fraud offense. In fact, if you conspired with others, you can be charged with not just crimes you actually committed but also with crimes of co-conspirators.
There are serious penalties imposed when you have been accused of travel agency fraud or travel fraud, so knowing how to fight charges or negotiate a favorable deal with prosecutors is key to trying to stay out of prison and avoid a criminal record. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience in providing representation when defendants have been accused of travel fraud. Give is a call now to speak with a NY defense lawyer to learn more.