CHICAGO, IL – June 30, 2014 – On the Fourth of July weekend, you should be able to sit back and relax and not worry about your identity being stolen. Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has received reports of scammers trying to collect personal information by creating unsecured Wi-Fi zones near hotels, which guests can connect to for free.
“Checking emails and going on social media are common things to do on vacations,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “However, if you connect to an unsecure Wi-Fi connection, one that is not encrypted, you are letting the owner of the connection see all of your personal information. This could include banking information, addresses, personal information and other Internet browsing activity.”
The BBB offers the following advice for vacationers looking to connect to Wi-Fi zones:
The BBB is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. It is supported by businesses to protect consumers against scams and other unethical business practices. The group accomplishes this by educating both consumers and businesses, and by highlighting trustworthy businesses. By developing reports and ratings on businesses and charitable organizations, the BBB encourages people to use these as resources and referrals to utilize the free services before making a purchase or donation. The BBB helps resolve buyer/seller complaints through its alternative dispute resolution process. In 2013, the BBB provided more than 22,600,000 instances of service. Over 80 percent of consumer complaints to the BBB were resolved. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is a member of the international BBB system that services the United States, Canada and Mexico.