CENTRAL, N.Y. (WSYR) — If you’re in the middle of planning your next family vacation, listen up! The Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is warning travelers not to fall for any scams or else they could lose a lot of money.
Just last year, travelers lost roughly $700 compared to the year before, with a loss of $620.
The Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice says so far this year, consumers have reported more than $265,140 lost to travel scams.
BBB of Upstate New York urges travelers to do their homework first, ensuring they don’t fall for any travel scams before booking their vacation.
“One common scam is what we would refer to as Rental Con where you might be browsing the internet or social media and you see pictures of a rental that looks great, comes at a great price but it might actually be a scam,” said Katarina Schmieder, Communications Director of Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York.
Experts say the scammers might be using fake photos and if they start pressuring you to send in a deposit, that’s a big red flag.
“If you didn’t enter a contest to win something and you get a call that says you won a vacation or a cruise, it’s probably a scam and you shouldn’t send any information over the phone,” said Schmieder.
Scams don’t stop even after checking into your hotel.
“You might get a phone call from the front desk that says there’s an issue with the credit card you have on file and that you need to supply the information again that could be a scammer trying to get money from you,” said Schmieder.
If this does happen, talk to the front desk at the hotel in person, and before you connect to the hotel’s WiFi, be careful.
“You might be offered a free WiFi connection and a scammer can skim off of that and steal your information or data,” said Schmieder.
But what happens if the damage has already been done? Experts urge travelers to call the police and file a report. BBB of Upstate New York also says you can use its Scam Tracker. This will help you avoid scammers and enjoy a stress-free vacation!
Click here to learn more.