Summer is just around the corner and you may be looking forward to your upcoming vacation. Although you may have planned and prepared for your trip, it's important to be cautious of scammers who may try to disrupt your plans. Scams can be challenging to identify, even for experienced travelers. To stay safe this summer, remain alert and be sure to verify any information you receive to avoid falling victim to common scenarios. The Federal Trade Commission reported that consumers lost almost $104 million in travel scams last year.
Be careful when looking for rental properties as fraudsters create fake listings that may not exist, are already booked or differ significantly from what was advertised. They may urge you to reserve quickly via an unsecured payment method, such as Zelle®. It's best to call the company on a known number to verify payment details before sending funds.
After checking into your hotel, you may receive a phone call from someone at "the front desk" requesting payment information because your payment method was declined. This could be a scam, so it's important to go to the front desk in person to address any potential issues.
1 Monitor your accounts: Review your transactions periodically and enable online alerts to receive notifications of potential unauthorized activity. Remember to report fraud immediately.
2 Use secure payment channels: Pay with a credit card or utilize a secure payment platform to avoid wiring money or sending it as a person-to-person transaction, which exposes you to risk because the funds usually cannot be recalled.
3 Identify reputable companies or websites: Beware of deals offered on social media or through advertisements that seem too good to be true, as they probably are.
4 Protect your profile: It's important to limit the information you and your family members share on social media to reduce the risk of becoming a target (it it recommended to avoid sharing when you'll be away from home, as it can make you an easy target for theft or burglary).
In conclusion, while preparing for your summer vacation, it's crucial to stay vigilant against scammers who may try to disrupt your plans. Even for experienced travelers, scams can be challenging to identify, and last year, consumers lost nearly $104 million in travel scams. Remember to use secure payment channels, do your research, monitor your accounts, and protect your profile to reduce the risk of becoming a target. By following these top-four security tips, you can enjoy a safer and fraud-free family vacation.