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Is it safe to wire money to a travel company?

Many travel businesses offer discounts if you pay by wiring cash. But should you? Here’s my take.

Are e-checks a safe way to pay for travel?

As she paged through Viking River Cruises’ glossy brochure one recent afternoon, Diane Moskal noticed a new way to save money: If she booked the Waterways of the Tsars itinerary sailing from Moscow to St. Petersburg with something called an e-check, the cruise line promised to knock $100 off the fare.

A shocking problem with DirecTV

Patricia Wilson's TVs are blown out. DirecTV blames her internal wiring, but she thinks the company has something to do with it. Now they're at an impasse. Or are they?

Something’s still “phishy” about vacation rentals

If you think the words “vacation rental” and “phishing” are all but synonymous, you’re not alone. Just talk to Ann Schutte, who recently found a rental villa with a “million-dollar” view in Sedona, Ariz., through the rental Web site VRBO.com.

Is this discount airline ticket a lost cause?

Carole Brown’s airline ticket — or lack of a ticket — is probably a lost cause. But this being Monday, when I present a borderline case, I’m not 100 percent certain of it.
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