Actionline: Vacation scams


If you’re booking a vacation online, always do your research—that’s the warning from officials.

Make sure you’re booking with the hotel directly and not a third party website.

“They may be offering amenities, fees, and services that are being booked along with the room. Which is a free breakfast, a superior room, but it turns out none of that is true,” said the Office of Consumer Protection Executive Director Stephen Levins. 

Levins said that when you’re looking for deals, stay away from sites like Craigslist because scammers can copy and paste a legitimate offering.

Also, beware of prize vacations.

“If someone is offering you a free vacation, first of all—it’s very, very unusual—your radar should be up. You should think right off the bat, ‘hey, this seems very suspicious. Sounds like it’s a scam.’ Anyone asking you to wire money associated with this kind of deal—don’t do it because you’re going to lose your money.”

Levins said Summer is a peak time for scammers to prey on victims due to an increase of traffic online. He suggests using a credit card to pay so you can dispute any fraudulent activity.

“You should pay with a credit card. You should never wire money if you’re paying for anything online. Don’t even use a debit card, use a credit card. If it turns out to be fraud, the law allows you to get your money back,” he said. 

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222.

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