Check for travel scams before you pack your bags

Typical losses were around $1,400
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 1:28 PM PDT
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InvestigateTV - This year there have been more than 22,000 reports of fraud tied to vacation scams according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Darlene Bringard-Dupnack, a travel agent for over 40 years, said the easing of COVID restrictions has caused an increased interest in travel.

Bringard-Dupnack said with this increase, some travelers may get fooled by what appears to be a dream vacation.

“Everything used to be done by phone and airmail. Things are a lot different now,” she said. “More recently, there are so many more scams that are online and that people have fallen for because they’re not paying attention to what they’re doing.”

Josh Planos from the Better Business Bureau agreed and said the trends show a higher amount of money being lost to scammers this summer.

Planos said the two big regs flags for potential vacation scams are:

  • If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Vendors asking for payment in gift cards, cryptocurrency or via payment apps like Zelle or Venmo

Planos explained that along with reputable sites like AirBNB or VRBO, there are also “shadier” sites posing as legitimate ones. They put money into advertising to entice you into using them.

Planos and Bringard-Dupnack both urged travelers to never pay in cash and instead put everything on credit cards, which provide recourse in the event of disputes.

If you think you spot a scam or have been a victim of one, you can report them to the BBB scam tracker.