<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Tuesday,  May 28 , 2024

Linkedin Pinterest
News / Life / Lifestyles

6 warning signs of travel scams

Guard personal info; say no to pressure tactics

By Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse
Published: March 9, 2024, 5:24am

Planning a vacation can be an exhilarating experience, but amid the excitement lies the lurking threat of scams that are just waiting to prey on unsuspecting travelers.

To help travelers navigate these treacherous waters, Byrd Bergeron, founder and CEO of The Travel Byrds agency, shared some conspicuous warning signs that consumers might be on the brink of a travel scam disaster.

  • Last-minute getaway deals

Buyer beware! If a seemingly too-good-to-be-true deal for a last-minute vacation suddenly pops up, Bergeron advises caution. “Traveling within two weeks or less? That’s a neon sign flashing ‘scam’ at you. Legitimate deals rarely pop up for last-minute trips, so be wary of those tempting offers,” she said.

  • Ultra-cheap airline tickets

Do your due diligence when it comes to incredibly cheap flights, warns Bergeron. “Beware of unbelievably cheap flights as they often come with strings attached.” She said that scammers frequently use fake websites and reviews to sell nonrefundable tickets laden with all sorts of restrictions. Before you invest your hard-earned money, double-check that the airfare presented to you is legitimate.

  • Risky vacation rentals

With the recent surge in popularity of private vacation rentals, associated scams have become rampant. Bergeron advises travelers to be wary of hosts who list the same property at different price points — they could be looking to double-book and maximize their profits. Airbnb alone removed 59,000 fraudulent listings last year. By booking directly through a property owner’s website, you can largely avoid falling for this common scam.

  • Requests for document photos

“Your personal information is your treasure and you should guard it fiercely,” said Bergeron. If an unverified person online requests photos of your credit card, driver’s license or passport, stop the conversation there. Scammers will often collect and then use this type of personal information for identity theft or to conduct unauthorized transactions.

  • Requests for confidential information

“Legitimate businesses won’t pester you for personal information upfront,” Bergeron asserted. If you find the person on the other end of communications is pressuring you to disclose sensitive details, consider it a red flag. Protect your privacy and steer clear of deals that demand too many personal details from you suspiciously early in the conversation.

  • Bogus fee-for-alls

According to Bergeron, scammers like to play games with bogus fees. “They charge hefty amounts for transaction execution or minor changes, leaving you frustrated and empty-handed,” she said. To avoid falling victim to this sort of runaround, she advises travelers to steer clear of providers that demand extra fees for straightforward services.

In the unfortunate event that you come into contact with travel scammers or even fall for one of their ploys, be sure to report it to your travel agency and the proper authorities. Bergeron advises that consumers cease communication with the scammers, but be sure to keep a record and document those interactions. Always prioritize safeguarding your personal information and documentation, and always trust your instincts. These will be your best defenses when it comes to dodging the wolves in sheep’s clothing who are lurking in the world of travel.