NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A proposal in Albany is being considered that would force travel agencies to gain official licenses from the state, increasing protections for customers.

State Sen. Jose Peralta’s bill would require travel agencies register with the New York Department of State, which would assign them a registration number travelers can reference, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

“This would prevent consumers from getting services from unscrupulous agents,” Peralta said.

That’s what happened to Mauricio Villalobos of Woodside, who bought tickets from an agent to Bogota. When he got to John F. Kennedy Airport, he said he found his tickets were no longer valid.

“They were suspended because they said they were paid with a fraudulent credit card,” he said.

Villalobos says when he went to complain to the travel agent, he was laughed at.

“And I’m here not only to try to get my money back, but so it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” he said.

Peralta’s bill carries fines and even jail time for repeat offenders.