Consumer Alert: ‘Don’t get scammed out of a dream vacation’ BBB warns consumers about travel cons

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HONOLULU (KHON2) – With more people traveling for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdowns, the Better Business Bureau has a warning about travel scams.

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The BBB says they’ve seen con artists pretend to be hotels.

“We’ve seen it where scammers pretend to be the front desk of a hotel and call people to confirm reservations and in the process, they get personal information and even credit card payment,” said Roseann Freitas, the Hawaii Marketplace manager of the Better Business Bureau.

When booking a vacation rental, watch out for scammers who post listing for homes that aren’t for rent or don’t exist.

“Search and make sure they actually own that property. There are a lot of different records out there where you can check whatever state it’s in and see who owns that residence. See if the names are matching up and see if this sounds like the right person. Also do a Google search for the property and see if it even exists.”

Meanwhile, many travel companies will advertise free vacation, but that doesn’t always mean the trip is entirely paid for.

“When they say there’s something free, there’s usually something actually attached to that. You’re going to have to really dig in a little deeper and figure out what does the free trip really mean. Does that mean only the hotel stay is free and you still have the cost of the travel? The other big thing is if they say, ‘hey, if you don’t take this offer now it’s going to be gone’ that’s another red flag, because they’re creating that sense of urgency.”

The BBB also says, beware of free and unsecure WIFI connections at hotels and airports. Hackers can get into devices and steal personal information.

To learn more about travel scams and how to avoid them, click here.

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