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As Spring Break Approaches, BBB Warns Travelers of Scams

by Joshua Turner | March 3, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Special to The Banner News

When planning trips, BBB advised travelers to be wary of false promises and a sense of urgency that can fool them into paying for something that doesn't exist.

During the spring and summer months, BBB's Scam Tracker sees increased reports of travel scams nationwide. Common scams that target travelers include vacation rental cons, free vacation scams, hotel-related scams, scams on third-party booking sites, and timeshare reselling cons.

Recently, BBB received reports of scammers calling hotel rooms late at night, impersonating the front desk person. The caller claims there is a problem with the card on file and asks the traveler to "re-verify" the credit card information. This is just one example of the many variations of travel-related scams.

Scammers are always devising new ways to fool consumers. However, there are ways to protect against them by following these tips:

Look for reviews and ask for references. While vetting hotels, travel companies, vacation rentals and more, check for reviews and complaints. Look for photos and a variety of reviews. If the property or company has no online reviews, ask for references and call them.

Avoid wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. These payments are the same as sending cash. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get it back. Paying with a credit card allows the charges can be disputed and dramatically limit liability from a fraudulent purchase.

A great deal probably isn't the truth. Scammers lure in targets by guaranteeing an amazing trip at a very low price. Research it first. If the hotel, travel or tour is much cheaper than similar options, be suspicious.

Do some snooping. Check the website for links to the company's Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. Often, scam artists will link to instead of If they do have social media accounts, check their activity and see if any other users have left reviews or voiced complaints. Also, look for typos and pixelated images. These mistakes are signs of a scammer, not a company that cares about its online presence.

Our office is available for questions or comments on travel scams and tips.

Print Headline: As Spring Break Approaches, BBB Warns Travelers of Scams


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