It’s summer vacation season and people are ready to travel, but if you’re not careful, scammers can raid your travel bank.
So far this year, Americans have reported more than $265,000 lost to travel scams. Last year, the average loss was $600,000.
The Better Business Bureau wants to help you have an enjoyable vacation while avoiding being conned.
First, plan ahead: Typically, the earlier reservations are made, the better the deals and the lower the risk of the destination being booked solid. This also locks in rates and prevents higher prices later.Avoid broad internet searches: Entering phrases like ‘best deals’ into a search engine can sometimes bring up-websites that look official but are designed solely to rip people off.Be alert for travel scams: Watch out for phone calls or letters claiming a ‘free trip’ or websites offering prices that appear too good to be true.Do your homework: Before paying for a hotel or any service, research the business and read customer reviews.Before making a final payment, get all the trip details in writing: This should include the total cost, restrictions, cancellation penalties, and names of the airlines and hotels.Consider travel insurance: Travel insurance covers things like trip cancellations or medical emergencies.Finally, pay with a credit card: Paying with a credit card provides additional protection if something should go wrong with the travel reservation.