Spring Break - Action Line

Dear Action Line, I’m ready for spring break and so are my husband and my children. We want to go to a beach somewhere that we have never been before. We usually go to the central coast but decided to venture outside our comfort zone this year. Any tips for us?
March 08, 2017

Dear Reader, 

Sounds like a great idea. After the wet winter we have had (not complaining!) sun and surf sounds glorious. That’s exactly what scammers are counting on, so here are some tips that may help you plan a vacation you and your family will never forget.  Don’t relax yet because scammers are always hard at work to get some of your hard earned dollars.

Your BBB suggests the following precautions when booking your trip:

  • Get recommendations from your family and friends
  • Be wary of vacation deals that promise a “luxury cruise” for a very low price, or require immediate purchase to lock in a “special” rate.
  • Don’t for get to check customer reviews at bbb.org ad well as other well-known customer review sites. 
  • Ask about “resort fees” or any other mandatory fees that are required.
  • Never send money by overnight delivery or provide payment to a courier sent to your home. That’s a common ploy used by scam artists.
  • Avoid salespeople who try to pressure you into revealing your credit card number.
  • Make sure you understand the policies and be sure to get them in writing.
  • Ask for a cancellation policy just in case you need to cancel.
  • Check out the company with bbb.org to make sure they can be trusted.
  • Don’t forget to ask for details when a “luxury cruise” is offered, what exactly does that include?
  • When you do make a reservation, pay by credit card.  This gives you more protection than paying with a check or cash. Again, don’t give your credit card information to any business until you have checked on their reputation.

Don’t forget the resources you can find at the Federal Trade Commission as well. Check out this link for tips on hotels, vacation packages vacation rentals, etc. 

Consumer Information

And make sure you come home without being the next victim of identity theft. Don’t carry any more credit cards or personal information than you need.  If you are staying in a hotel and you get a call from the “front desk” about your card information, walk down to the front desk; never give your info over the phone. It could be a scam. 

If you feel the need to be connected to the internet instead of out on the beach, make sure you find out if any connection you are going to use is secure. 

If you use credit card machines for purchase, be on the lookout for skimming devices. If it doesn’t look and feel right don’t use the device.

Take precaution with your personal property like laptops, phones and purses.  

Report all scams to www.bbb.org/scamtracker


Have a great spring break!

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including, BBB Serving Central California & Inland Empire, which was founded in 1951 and serving Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Tulare, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.