Help! My travel insurance didn’t work like I thought it would

One of the most common answers to a travel problem is: You should have bought insurance. I’ve said it and chances are, you have too.

And it’s true — except when it isn’t.

Consider what happened to Janice Zatarain, who bought a travel insurance policy through Travelex to cover her family trip to Europe. She, her husband and her son would be flying from San Francisco to London and Paris.
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Do I really have to pay this “congestion” charge in London?

It’s been almost a year since Terry Bienstock rented a Peugeot 3008 Hybrid in London, and for almost as long, he’s been fighting Avis over a pesky $162 traffic ticket.
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Hey, that’s the wrong London!

Question: I tried to make a hotel reservation in London, Ontario, Canada through Priceline. The site displayed three tabs. The first two tabs displayed the correct city, but when I switched to the “best deal” tab it automatically switched to London, UK.
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Consumer alert: No, you don’t have a friend who was mugged in London today

Watch out. Someone pretending to be a friend is out to make a quick buck today. Don’t fall for it.

The scam, which I first wrote about last year, steals email passwords and then sends a message to your contacts, pleading for money. As I noted in a follow-up story, the swindle is relatively easy to spot — if you know what to look for.

I’ve had three emails this morning, which suggests the cybercriminals have hit the jackpot with a new phishing technique.
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Can this trip be saved? Email scam cost me $6,600 — can you get it back?

Think you’ll never fall for one of those email scams — you know, the ones where someone hijacks a friend’s Gmail account and pretends to be a traveler in distress?

Well, if you think you’re too smart to become a victim, think again. Carlo has a doctorate in math, and I’ve agreed to use only his first name, because he lost four months’ salary just before Christmas to this electronic swindle.

“I wouldn’t like to be publicly known as a dupe in my school,” he says.

Carlo wants to know: Is the money gone forever? Or can I help him recover some of it?

I’m fascinated by how this crime unfolded. For the first time ever, a victim has allowed me to republish the entire correspondence between himself and the perpetrator, in its entirety. (One thing to note is that English isn’t Carlo’s first language.)
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Warning: Banks putting undisclosed “holds” on ATM withdrawals

Automatic teller machine withdrawals are subject to all kinds of fees, to the point where Washington is getting involved. But new laws won’t protect you from ATM mischief when you’re overseas.

Longtime reader Steve Loucks, who works for the travel agency consortium Travel Leaders, just returned from London, where he found a shocker on his bill:

I used my ATM card twice, once through a Lloyds Bank and then through NatWest. Both times, I discovered today, each financial institution not only took out the amount I requested but they also placed a hold on my account for those same amounts (the latter hold doesn’t expire until tomorrow).
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British Airways does it again

heathrowBritish Airways can’t seem to stay out of the news this week. First, there was its fat-finger fare fiasco — still unresolved, as many customers wait to hear how they’ll be compensated. And just yesterday, I received word about a resolution on another case involving the airline.

Reader Nancy Ostrofsky was stranded in Miami twice while she waited to fly to London to see her son’s college graduation this summer. The first time, BA covered some of her expenses. But the second time, it fell short and eventually made her miss her son’s big day.
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