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Beware The Scam

Tips For Fun And Safe Travels

Summer is in full swing. And travel – whether you are making plans or actually on the road – can invite ample opportunity for schemers, hackers and scammers. Booking flights, hotels, and excursions online can make you more vulnerable to fraud. 

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann has a few travel tips to prevent a relaxing vacation from becoming a costly nightmare. Here are a few of them: 

1. Book travel plans through reliable companies. 

Be sure to check reviews of the company. You can do this online by looking up the company’s name followed by the word “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” Make sure you go through the company’s licensed website, not a third-party website. Scammers list vacation properties that they do not own or that does not exist through third-party sites. This allows them to steal credit card information, and leave victims not only without a place to stay, but possibly as a victim of identity theft.

2. Check for hidden fees.

Many hotels add additional fees that are not obvious on the booking confirmation. Check to see if your hotel requires that you pay resort fees, WiFi, service or parking fees. These fees can add hundreds of dollars to your projected expenses. Airlines often charge cancellation or flight change fees. When booking your flight, check the refund policy, especially if you do not have travel insurance.

3. Bring copies of reservation confirmations.

Sometimes companies lose track of reservations or claim to have never received them. Having proof of payment and confirmation details will help if your reservation gets lost.

4. Protect your mobile devices.

Not all public WiFi networks are secure, so be wary if your device is sending warnings about potential security threats. Public charging stations can also pose a risk to your privacy. Some hackers have successfully wired these ports to hidden software that can extract passwords, emails, personal information, and credit card information. 

5. Know the signs of rental scams.

Do not be fooled by ridiculously low rates or warnings that you may “lose your chance” at a good deal if you do not book immediately. Scammers play into our desire to save money on vacations, but falling for these tricks may result in wasting hundreds of dollars in the pursuit of a “deal” that was fake all along. Take your time, check market rates, and pay attention to reviews (or a lack thereof) before securing a rental.  

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