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A pair of U.S. senators are urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to make protecting Americans from travel scams a bigger priority.
“While the FTC posts advisories pertaining to travel scams, we believe that more must be done to protect consumers,” Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) wrote FTC acting Chair Rebecca Slaughter in a letter on Thursday.
“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,” they continued, asking the agency to share what it’s doing to combat the issue.
The letter points to a recent FTC report that found U.S. consumers have lost more than $400 million to fraudsters since the pandemic began in March 2020. Klobuchar and Daines also note that approximately two-thirds of Americans say they’re planning to travel this summer as vaccination rates increase, suggesting the need for a sense of urgency.
As co-chair of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, Klobuchar continues to play a key role in the tourism industry’s recovery, working with Sen. Roy Blunt, (R-Mo.) to introduce the Protecting Tourism in the United States Act in February and writing to the Commerce Department to learn what it’s doing to help travel and tourism recover and push for the promotion of Brand USA this past March.
Earlier this month, Sens. Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal asked airlines to commit to refunding passengers for flights canceled amid the pandemic or at least eliminate expiration dates for credits.