InvestigateTV – This year there have been more than 22,000 reports of fraud related to holiday scams according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Darlene Bringard-Dupnack, a travel agent for more than 40 years, said the easing of COVID restrictions has sparked a surge in interest in travel.
Bringard-Dupnack said that with this increase, some travelers may be cheated out of what appears to be a dream vacation.
“Everything was done by phone and airmail. Things are much different now,” she said. “Lately, there are a lot more scams that are online that people have fallen for because they’re not paying attention to what they’re doing.”
Josh Planos of the Better Business Bureau agreed and said trends show that more money is being lost to scammers this summer.
Planos said the two big flags for potential holiday scams are:
- If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
- Sellers who require payment in gift cards, cryptocurrency, or through payment apps like Zelle or Venmo
Planos explained that along with reputable sites like AirBNB or VRBO, there are also “darker” sites that pose as legitimate. They put money into ads to entice you to use them.
Planos and Bringard-Dupnack both urged travelers to never pay in cash and instead put everything on credit cards, which provide recourse in case of disputes.
If you think you see or have been the victim of a scam, you can report them to the BBB scam tracker.
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