KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA Public Services and Complaints Department has advised the people to join tours operated only by licensed and reliable agencies to avoid being cheated.
Its head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said there were complaints by holidaymakers that unscrupulous agents had sold non-existent tours to them.
“Be a smart consumer, scout around and always compare the travel packages offered by different companies.
“Think twice if you come across those which offer irresistible prices such as RM4,000 for a seven-day excursion to Japan, inclusive of air ticket, food and accommodation,” added Chong.
He also warned the public to be aware of con men claiming to be freelance travel agents.
In April, a photographer and 14 of her family members and friends were cheated of RM60,000 by a freelance travel agent.
The group paid the amount for a 7D/5N excursion to Japan and only realised the tour did not exist at the airport.
At the check-in counter, they were informed by the airlines that no bookings had been made under their names.
Chong said he had received 15 similar complaints since 2012 involving losses of more than RM200,000.
Tourism and Culture Ministry provides a list of licensed travel operators in the country on its website.