Certain scams are prominent all year round while many others change with the season.
Honolulu, HI – June 26, 2017: Big travel plans, crowded festivals, and summer jobs all offer new opportunities for scammers to try to steal your money, your time and possibly even your identity. As the summer temperatures begin to rise, Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau is warning consumer’s to stay on alert when it comes to these top 5 summer scams.
- Vacation Scams: As the summer months approach and continuing through the season it is not uncommon to see an increase in scammers reaching out to consumers with free vacation offers, travel points, and airline miles. With this offer, scammers are able to obtain a victim’s personal information along with their debit or credit card information. This could easily lead to identity theft. In order to avoid this type of scam, consumers should be sure to book all their travel plans directly with established hotels, travel sites or travel agents. BBB Accredited travel agents can be found in the BBB directory. When it comes to travel giveaways, remember you cannot win something you did not enter for.
- Moving Scams: Summer time is peak moving seasons, making it the perfect time for fake movers to strike. Hawaii’s BBB reminds consumers to always fully vet a moving company before hiring them. Consumers can search for BBB Accredited movers online. Before hiring any mover, consumers should verify a mover’s licensing and read past consumer reviews. Also, be wary of extremely low estimates.
- Fake Ticket Scams: Fun runs, weekend festivals, and concert all hit their peak season during the summer months, making them the perfect target for scammers. The fake ticket scam can take two different forms. A scammer may sell tickets for an event that doesn’t even exist or they may be selling fake tickets for a real event. Avoid this scam by verifying that an event is really scheduled to occur. Consumers can do this often times by checking with the venue/location, online, or with participating sponsors. When it comes to purchasing tickets, if not purchasing directly from the event website, consumers need to understand the difference between a ticket broker and a scalper for aftermarket tickets. A ticket broker is a legitimate, licensed reseller. A ticket scalper is unlicensed and engaged in illegal activity.
- Door-to-Door Scams: Year after year BBB’s across the country see an increase in door-to-door scams during the summer months. These scammers may simply be looking to make some easy money selling services or products that either do not work or do not exist or they may be searching for personal information or access to debit and credit card information for more serious scams. Consumers can avoid this scam by understanding the laws pertaining to door-to-door sales, as well as verifying that the person doing the selling is actually representing a legitimate and safe company. When making a purchase with a door-to-door salesman, consumers should be sure to get everything in writing and confirm return or refund policies.
- Job Scams: Whether you are a student searching for a summer job or someone simply looking to make a little extra money, the summer months are the perfect time for scammers to strike with fake job scams. Hawaii’s BBB warns consumer’s to be wary of employers who require fees for training and background checks, or who tout "no experience needed." Job hunters should verify a company with the BBB and keep in mind that if an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is.
If a consumer comes across one of these scams or any scam they should be sure to report that scam using the BBB Scam Tracker.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 70 years, Hawaii’s 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. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.