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Be on the lookout for travel scams

Thieves are making the most of our plans to get out of the house this summer.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Better Business Bureau expects more scams to impact people this summer.

The top scams listed with the Better Business Bureau include:

  • Vacation rental con: Someone will lure you in with low fees and great amenities, but a sense of urgency like “someone else is interested” and demand payment up front.
  • “Free” vacation scam: A cruise or travel company may offer a free trip, but look for those extra costs or restrictions. You may find hidden add-on fees for air transportation, port charges, taxes, tips, etc.
  • Hotel rental scam: When you’re staying in a hotel, scammers use things like fake front desk calls to get your information. You may see “free” Wi-Fi connections but it’s not associated with the hotel. 
  • Third-party booking sites: Scammers pretend to be ticket brokers. Big red flag: if you pay with a credit card then the company calls asking to verify name, address, banking information or other personal details. A legitimate company would never do that.

What to do:

  • Get all the details including cost, restrictions, any penalties, all cancellation and refund policies.
  • Do not use a prepaid debit card.
  • Do not wire money.
  • On vacation rentals, do not correspond solely through email. BBB suggests calling the owner. An owner with vague answers is a clear red flag.
  • As for the free Wi-Fi at hotels, ask the front desk to make sure it’s backed by the company.
  • Watch out for anything that claims you won a prize if you never applied. Those are often linked to scams, according to the BBB.

If you fall victim to a scam, let us know so we can warn others. Email Defenders@kvue.com.

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