After a snowy and rainy winter, you may be looking to escape to a warmer climate for summer vacation. And guess what? Scammers know this and hope to “take advantage” of your travel plans.
Travel scams come in many forms; emails, cold calls, social media, even submit or play to win drawings. Many scammers will send you the same fake offers via email and SMS.
Before you book that discounted hotel room, car rental, or flight reservation, check out these tips from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Say no to robocalls. If you reply to an automated message, hang up and block the number.
- Research a company before booking with them. Check reviews and ratings to see if other customers are happy with the services. And check several sites, scammers can post fake reviews online.
- Know the cancellation policy. Before you book, take the time to learn about the company’s refund policies for flight reservations, car rentals, and hotel reservations. And get those policies in writing.
- Requests to pay with a gift card, cashier’s check, or cash payment app are red flags, the ad may not be legitimate.
- Your best protection is to pay with a credit card. This will give you more options for getting a refund than if something goes wrong.
- And finally, even if you desperately need that vacation, remember that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you believe you have been the victim of an online scam, report it to the FBI’s Internet Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.