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Booking Online? Stay Safe tips based on 17-year online experience.

BeeSafeTurkey is quickly catching up with the world wide internet industry, in travel too. Even getting ahead of it all, learning a lesson the hard way. Every year more new websites come up offering low prices for holidays. Like any of you has been questioning the legitimacy of such offers and the common answer we would hear from local hotels was that the new sites are not making any money. According to them it was some kind of introductory offers to help them grow online. In reality this is how it worked : a new site would advertise a well-known hotel for a very low price, but would say that it is fully booked and sell you another accommodation. This was one of the most innocent tricks to get more bookings online. With time it got worse with unrealistic offers for hotels, transportation and even some internet fraud. Every now and again the news tell about sites being a scam and people left without a holiday due to such scams. Turkey has no means to stop this yet. First it has to happen to someone and then the official bodies start paying attention to the problem that can happen anytime again. has been working in online travel business for 17 years now and we have collected some tips for staying safe online. Our advice would be to check out the site first before you go and do business with it. Is the site informative and user-friendly, does it answer your questions and travel needs, are your emails answered on time and in full before or after you book. Your first impression is always important. So if you do not find a particular site informative or up-to-date it is best to close it.

The second step is to look for a physical presence: is there an office address clearly stated on the home page or contact us page, with phone numbers, email address, skype, and other accessibility information. In this step social media does not play a very big importance because as you know anyone could open a facebook or a twitter page. In this case Google Plus is more important and here is why: google plus sends a verification letter to a business that needs to be received in the post. We did this for our business and found it to be a reliable verification method. So if you do see a google plus page for any site that is another good sign that the business place exists!

Another important fact about an online business is how old is it: you can always take the name of a website and check its age on

Then you may go even further to check for membership in trade like travel associations, alliances, part of a larger travel company. You may always do a cross-check by contacting such bodies to confirm that this particular company or agency is indeed a member and that its membership is valid and up-to-date. If a site offers an online booking and payment make sure it has a https:// sign once you are on the payment page which means the server is secure. The site must always show a valid e-commerce secure site certificate. has its secure site certificate with Global Sign which is displayed on all of its payment pages.  These are the basics of e-commerce and there is much more to it, but a legitimate business will always invest in these security measures to make sure the site is operating safely.

Terms and conditions are another important aspect, make sure you can find them on the website, before you book and save a copy. If terms and conditions are not found before you make a booking request a written copy of such terms and conditions with a company logo and letterhead. If something goes wrong after you book it is not easy to receive any paperwork from a company that made a mistake or did not provide you with service.

Finally, some people still prefer to pay cash or direct bank transfer, however the money is not traceable. You should pay with a credit card because your purchase is protected. You may learn from your bank about exactly how your bank protects your credit card purchases. Visa and Master also implement high security and protection on all of your credit card transactions. Verify and report any suspicious credit card charges with your bank or credit card issuer to quickly resolve any problems or help you understand any particular charge.

Share your tips and online booking experience, please email us

Happy & safe travel everyone!