Beware of Spring Break Scams

March 24, 2014

The calendar tells us spring is just around the corner. And following a brutal winter season, college students and consumers alike will be looking forward to spring break getaways. Before you make your escape, the Better Business Bureau Serving wants to make sure your trip isn’t ruined by the threat of scams.

“Spring break is an annual rite for many Midwesterners looking to escape the cold and snow,” says Jim Hegarty CEO/president of the BBB. “The possibility of scams starts when you start planning your trip, and the BBB wants to remind you to proceed with caution before heading south.”

The BBB offers the following tips when planning a vacation.

1. Book through a reliable travel agent. Check the agency’s report at BBB.ORG. or find a BBB Accredited Business. Accredited Businesses must adhere to the BBB’s 8 standards of trust, including advertising honestly, be transparent, and honor promises.

2. Get details about your trip in writing. Be sure to confirm the details, such as total cost, any restrictions that apply, flights, hotel reservations, and car rental.

3. Use a credit card as payment. Paying by credit card offers the most protection should something to wrong.

4. Consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance provides coverage for particular perils which are specific conditions under which it will pay claims. Be sure to shop around and read the terms and conditions before purchasing.

5. Use caution when considering deals. If a deal or package offers a lot for a very low price, be wary. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

6. Bewary of claims you “won” a trip. Generally if you’ve truly won something, it will be given to you as a gift. Be especially leary if the offer is unsolicited. Check on any offers with the Better Business Bureau.

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