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Paying deposit for Galapagos tours

Kenmore, Washington
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4 posts
4 reviews
4 helpful votes
Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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Hello all,

I am booking for tours in the Galapagos and was asked to pay 50% deposit via Western Union.

Just want to double check with the group that this is a common practice there at Galapagos, and if there anything to be aware of for the wiring?

Thanks a lot!

13 replies to this topic
Kenmore, Washington
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
4 helpful votes
1. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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Also just found out the account they want me wire to is a personal account, just a bit suspicious 🤔

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
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5,878 posts
128 reviews
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2. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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I was asked to pay by paypal by one, by credit card a different secure system for another & cash on arrival for another. Originally (I had booked for May 2020 then covid struck) two were by PayPal & one cash on arrival.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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4,736 posts
19 reviews
21 helpful votes
3. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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Dear YY,

50% is steep, unless you're planning on traveling fairly soon. Sending it to personal accounts is not very professional of course. It doesn't mean it's a scam, but it surely doesn't point to a serious operation.

It's your money. You're right to be asking questions. There are no guarantees in life, but you can take some measures to reduce the odds of funny stuff happening.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Salta, Bolivia, Peru
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9,104 posts
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4. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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If you pay by credit card your payment will be secure and protected against fraud etc. by the consumer credit legislation of the country in which you live and also the cc providers own T&Cs etc. For that reason alone i would only ever make a significant payment overseas by credit card. Pay by bank transfer and you have little to no protection if things go wrong.

Asking you to pay to a personal account by bank transfer is a major red flag and i would definitely NOT do that.

I would find a different operator that has more professional business pratcices.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
13,914 posts
113 reviews
134 helpful votes
5. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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YuYed, did you research the company? Do they have good reviews from established TA members (not members with just 1-2 contributions)? Have you done a search in the forum archives for them? Type the name in the Search box of the Ecuador forum, not just his one subforum.

It's not unusual for small agencies to request that money be wired, but to a personal account does seem a bit strange. I've wired money on a few occasions, but I was absolutely confident in the agency.

Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
2,550 posts
141 reviews
133 helpful votes
6. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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YuYed,

Could you please disclose the agency name in order to give you advice?

Saludos cordiales,

Dennis Yépez

Guanguiltagua Expeditions

Kenmore, Washington
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
4 helpful votes
7. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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Thank you all, so this is a tour guide recommended by the diving shop which looks reputable online.

We are going there in 2 weeks so it’s getting fairly close.

I think I will try to call the diving shop and see if they can verify the person.

Kenmore, Washington
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4 posts
4 reviews
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8. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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@ Dennis Yépez

Thanks for your message,

I initially contacted the Galapagos Travellers, they then gave me a number for a guy named Roy to contact.

I am not entirely sure if he works for them or just someone that Galapagos Travellers work with so I want to verify the legitimacy myself ;)

Thanks for your help!

Y

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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4,736 posts
19 reviews
21 helpful votes
9. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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Dear YY,

at the end of the day, there is a lot of informat business going on in the islands. While a lot is legitimate, you should always be wary when wiring money to someone's personal account. If you feel that you're being recommend to a legitimate service provider from a legitimate business, the chancers are you'll be OK.

But as always... "buyer beware".

Warmest regards,

Heather

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
363 posts
29 reviews
29 helpful votes
10. Re: Paying deposit for Galapagos tours
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Dear YY,

Please listen to Heather and others. You should never wire transfer money to an unknown quantity. Ever. Period.

If your spider senses are tingling enough to ask the question here, your senses are probably right. trust them.

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