With pandemic scams on the rise, two U.S. senators are calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to increase the agency’s efforts to protect consumers from travel fraud.
In a letter on Thursday (May 13), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Steve Daines, (R-Mont.) asked the FTC to target the rise in travel and tourism scams, CNBC reported.
“While the FTC posts advisories pertaining to travel scams, we believe that more must be done to protect consumers,” the senators wrote. “Travel reservations made on fraudulent websites can be costly and stressful for travelers, and it is critical to ensure that Americans understand how to recognize travel scams and their recourse options should they fall victim to these scams.”
The letter comes at a time when more Americans are gearing up for summer travel.
Klobuchar and Daines note that vaccination rates are on the rise and COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted nationwide. Some 67 percent of Americans say they’re planning to travel this summer.
The FTC said that, since January 2020, more than 217,000 people have reported pandemic-related fraud to the agency (as of March 23). Seniors were victimized most often, the data shows, with median losses of $500 for people in their 70s and $900 for those in their 80s.
“We have seen meaningful progress” in the recovery of the airline industry from the pandemic crisis, CEO Robin Hayes said in late April 27 when the quarterly revenues were released. Hayes said the company has “started to gain momentum from the groundwork we have laid to emerge from the crisis as a stronger JetBlue.”
The company reported that its first quarter 2021 revenue was down 61 percent from the first quarter of 2019 due to the pandemic’s impact on the industry.
May 13, 2021 at 03:50PM