RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — We’re in the middle of Spring Break season and a lot of people are traveling.
Scammers know this time of year presents good opportunities to offer fake “free trips” or deals on rental properties that are too good to be true.
Before you decide to jet off to a spring break or summer vacation, be wary of the way scammers may try and trick you into thinking there’s a really cheap or exotic destination available.
“Look out for unsolicited messaging,” said Meredith Radford of the Better Business Bureau of the Eastern Carolinas. “It could be a text, a phone call, or emails.”
“Sometimes social media messages are becoming more and more common where it’ll say that you’ve won a trip or you’re being offered this really great deal on a trip or a too good to be true deal,” she added.
Once you are at the hotel, there are several ways criminals try and trick you.
”You get a phone call that’s supposedly from the front desk, and they’re asking you to verify your credit card information or your personal information or things like that,” she said. “It’s better to hang up the phone.”
Instead, physically walk to the front desk to verify they need that info.
Be wary of those restaurant coupons slipped under your door about ordering food takeout.
“You call them, and they want you to pay with a credit card over the phone,” Radford said. “You give them your credit card info and you never get your food and you’ve lost your money.”
You need to verify it’s a legit place by calling the front desk or looking up the restaurant on the internet. Then, call them and check to see if they are offering those coupon promotions.
If you vacation in a foreign location, or if you’re staying at a hotel or a rental you need to know about cancelation policies.
“You always want to make sure that when you’re traveling, you have things like cancelation policies, your trip details, your hotel details, airline details, that kind of stuff in writing and that you know it all beforehand,” said Radford.
Before you travel — make sure you’ve got an app on your phone that shows your contact and medical information in case you become incapacitated and need hospitalization.
You also need to keep people informed about your itinerary.
“You want to make sure someone you trust knows where you’re going to be, how long you’re going to be gone, when you should be back, that sort of thing,” said Radford.
Also, avoid using public or hotel Wi-Fi for doing banking or other sensitive things.
Fraudsters intercept those public Wi-Fi signals and can pull down your personal info and passwords.