Travel is expensive, but it’s especially expensive when you get scammed.
Scammers often prefer to target consumers who are looking for great travel deals online. According to the Better Business Bureau, you should plan a trip ahead of time if you want to avoid a scam. Planning ahead kills two birds with one stone, as it also allows you to find better deals. So, take your time when you’re researching hotels and flights.
As for scams, the most common way to get duped is to accept a “prize” trip that calls for urgency. Scammers will often send out false prizes stating that you’ve won a trip, and they’ll offer prices that seem too good to be true. As is usually the case, if it looks too good to be true, it likely is. These scam trips will often come with many additional fees, send you to suspicious locations, and sometimes leave you in limbo.
When it comes to hotels, only go to reputable locations. If you’re going to a cheaper hotel that’s unknown to you, pay in cash. Hotel scams generally involve the theft of your credit card information. Paying in cash or paying through a site like Booking.com or AirBNB will keep your credit card information safe, so long as you don’t disclose it to your hosts.
Lastly, if you receive an offer that will “disappear forever” if you don’t accept now, run. Hang up the phone, delete the email, or block the social media message. These offers spike during times when many people are looking for a vacation, so watch out and stay safe.