With Summer on the immediate horizon, travel plans are being made to make the most of the sunny months. Unfortunately, scammers don’t take vacations and they are sure to be lurking in the shadows to swindle would-be travelers out of their hard-earned vacation dollars.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) highlights vacation scams for which to stay alert. According to the BBB, scammers often target people looking for great deals online by offering tempting vacation packages at unrealistically low prices. One place to begin an online search is BBB.org for finding reputable travel agencies, agents, and websites.
The BBB offers the following tips to avoid the summer swindle:
- Plan ahead and do your homework. Allowing sufficient time to research hotels, flights, and rental cars before booking them allows travelers to find better deals as well as research the businesses, including customer reviews.
- Avoid broad internet searches. Just because you enter “best deals” into your internet search does not necessarily mean the best travel deals will come up, nor that the websites you select will be legitimate.
- Travel scams to watch. Phone calls, letters, and emails offering a “free trip” are commonly used by scammers and spammers to entice recipients into clicking on harmful links or routing them to a bogus website to secure personal information with no intention of offering up a free trip in return.
- Be careful on social media. While tempting to share photos and updates about your summer vacation, criminals monitor social media for an indication of which homes are not occupied and, therefore, ripe for burglary. Waiting until your return home to share the great memories with friends and family is a much safer way to go.
Additional tips on vacation scams can be found here. ICW Group wishes you a safe, enjoyable, and swindle-free summer ahead.