JACKSON HEIGHTS — A new bill introduced in the state senate aims to limit scams by requiring travel agencies to register with the state.
Sen. Jose Peralta introduced the bill last week, which will require travel agencies across New York to register with the Department of State.
Businesses will pay $100 annually to be registered with the state, and will also be added to a database for travelers to check in on agencies throughout New York.
"It's all about protecting consumers, and protecting good travel agents," he said.
"The DOS will have the power to revoke, suspend or fine of up to $1,000 if the applicant has, among other things, defrauded consumers."
The bill will help protect travelers beyond the protections already in place, like the "truth in travel act," Peralta said.
"This piece of legislation provides a more proactive role for consumers," he said.
Carmencita Gutierrez, who heads up the Queens District Attorney's office's immigrant affairs bureau, said local immigrants are usually victimized the most by bogus travel agents.
"[Travelers] have a right to know who it is they are dealing with, who they are doing business with," she said.
The database will also help the district attorney's office prosecute businesses operating illegally, she said.