Cybersecurity MONDAY

Vacation Time Scams

With spring just around the corner and summer vacation time not too far away, many folks are starting to make travel plans.  What you may not realize is that scammers are ready and waiting to benefit from your vacation plans.

Whether you are heading to the beach, the mountains, or somewhere in between, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reminding consumers to be on the lookout for scammers trying to take advantage of you while you’re on vacation.

 Alyssa Gutierrez with the BBB of North Carolina said, "A lot of times, the scams that we come across are on classified websites, vacation rentals, so just be aware of where you're looking for your vacation rentals. A lot of them pop up on social media, and there's a lot of fake advertisements on there, so just make sure you're doing your research."

Here are some tips from the BBB:

Hoax Travel Sites: Many consumers get conned by using a travel website because it appears to be legitimate, but then all contact between the business and consumer ceases once payments have gone through. It's best to book with a company that shows a good track record of appeasing its clients.

Wi-Fi Scams: Avoid using public Wi-Fi, including hotel internet access, for online banking or other financial account management. Fraudsters have the ability to create fake Wi-Fi hubs and can easily gain access to personal information and passwords.

Hotel Check-In Tricks: It's common for hotels to call and check-in with guests shortly after they arrive, but be on guard if the caller asks for personal information, such as credit card information, to finalize check-in. Never give out financial information over the phone. Instead, visit hotel management in person.

Fake Vacation Rentals: Watch out for bogus rental listings and too-good-to-be-true deals. Scammers can hijack legitimate online listings and make it look like their own. Deal directly with the property owner or manager and be sure to verify the property exists by researching online.

Delivery Coupons: These deals usually are slid under your hotel door and can be enticing for busy travelers who need a quick bite to eat. The trick comes when a customer calls to place the order and is asked to give credit card info over the phone. Don't do it! Check with the front desk before placing an order to ensure the restaurant is real or offer to pay when the meal is delivered.

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