Due diligence helps to avoid being victim of scams

Action Line

Landing cheap summer flights online seems like a deal. But officials say it’s a key place for scammers to target their next victim.

“You find a website, it looks legitimate. You book your airfare, it gives you a confirmation that shows it’s a ticket and it’s booked. You paid. About one or two days later you receive notification that you no longer have a flight and that it has been canceled. When you go back to the original company to find them, they’re gone,” said Roseann Freitas, Marketplace Manager, Better Business Bureau Hawaii. 

If you book through a site that you’ve never done business with before, always do your research and check for reviews. However, Freitas says it can be tricky because scammers can make fake websites look legitimate. 

“Make sure these are legitimate companies. Because they do a great job with their websites. It’s easier to build a website these days. So they make it look good so you really need to do your due diligence. If you are not able to find any information about that company, that’s a red flag,” said Freitas.

Freitas says always use your credit card when purchasing anything online. It’s just one way of protecting yourself. 

“Never, ever pay with a debit card online. Because then they have access to your checking account. You can’t dispute it. Once it’s out of your checking account, it’s gone. However, on a credit card, you can dispute it and get your money back,” said Freitas.

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday-Friday at 591-0222. You can also send an email to ActionLine@khon2.com.

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