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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Louisville, Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky
BBB Warns: Beware of Summer Vacation Scams
June 19, 2014

Headed on a summer vacation? Whether to the beach, on a cruise, or something closer to home, the Better Business Bureau® (BBB) encourages travelers to use caution when making plans, booking hotels, and navigating unfamiliar destinations. Taking the right precautions ahead of time could save you time and money!

BBB warns there are many potential scams during the vacation planning process and the trip itself.

Planning:

  • Complaints to BBB show that many travel clubs have high-pressure sales pitches promising huge discounts on hotels, airfare, and cruises but fail to fully deliver. In addition, complaints allege consumers felt misled and pressured into making an on-the-spot decision. The BBB suggests doing your research and check the company’s BBB business review.
  • When you’re planning your summer vacation, it may be tempting to post your plans on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. While this may seem like a good idea to share the news with friends and family, you could be putting yourself at risk of online predators. If you share the time, and location of your vacation, scammers know exactly when your possessions are free for the taking.

 During:

  • The FBI recently issued a warning to consumers about scam artists using internet connections in hotels to gain access to consumer’s personal information using pop-up windows that appear as “software updates.” Avoid clicking on pop-up windows and suspicious advertisements.
  • When traveling abroad, some consumers do not realize their cell phone data plan doesn’t cover the area they’re traveling in. Roaming charges may be applied even when the phone isn’t in use. Some complaints to BBB allege consumers were unaware their data was on while they were traveling outside their coverage area. Before traveling talk to your service provider about your plan and make appropriate changes before departing.

Not on vacation, but know someone who is? You could still be at risk. Scammers often impersonate vacationing family members and act like they’re in trouble. These scammers ask you to wire money to their account. The BBB suggests hanging up and calling the family member directly.

For more tips, go to www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.