BBB warns of travel scammers ahead of spring break

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As spring break season approaches, the Better Business Bureau is warning travelers about scammers looking to profit off of your vacation plans.

Consumers reported losing a median of over $600 to travel scams, according to the 2022 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report.

One way scammers may target you is by listing properties that aren’t for rent or don’t actually exist, or by using fake photos. The “owner” might also pressure you into booking a reservation by claiming that someone else is interested in the property and that you need to act fast.

Scammers also create fake third-party hotel booking sites claiming to offer cheaper rates at real hotels. They’ll do the same with air travel by creating phony ticket numbers or pretending to be real airlines.

The BBB offers a few tips to make sure your vacation goes off without a hitch. First, plan ahead by researching hotels, flights, and the area you will be staying in. You can visit BBB.org for free business profiles. Second, be wary of third-party websites with no working contact information, like a phone number or physical address.

Third, avoid using phrases like “best deals” in search engines, and make sure the website has a secure link that starts with “HTTPS//” (you can learn more at BBB.org/BBBSecure).

Next, pay for travel fees using a credit card for added security. Finally, find your airline tickets through the company’s website rather than a broad internet search.

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