Memorial Day is right around the corner and with it comes the start of the summer travel season, but scammers are also tagging along with all this fun in the sun.
Spring and summer months are the peak times for travel scams. From pickpockets to too-good-to-be-true travel deals, just because you’re ready for some rest and relaxation, doesn’t mean all of your guards should be down.
One of the biggest mistakes travelers make is letting the world know where you’re going and when you’ll be gone on Facebook. The Better Business Bureau warns against this practice.
“Not posting things on social media, posting pictures and talking about how long they’re gone or that they’re way out in another country so that they don’t get themselves robbed,” said BBB President Michele Mason.
Mason adds that you can wait until you return from your vacation to share photos and experiences.
Also make sure if you’re traveling with friends, that if they post pictures and messages about your vacation on Facebook, that they’re not tagging you in those posts.
While traveling also make sure to always be aware of your luggage. There is a reason airports and train stations post signs advising travelers to keep close tabs on their belongings.
Other issues of note, don’t trust emergency scam emails. Fraudsters will pose as a vacationing friend or family member asking for money to be wired to them to get them out of a messy situation. To help avoid this, keep the lines of communication open between loved ones while you are away.
Watch out for travel clubs or sales presentations in which you receive travel perks. Often these services do little except charge your credit card every month and provide few if any benefits. Instead plan your trip with a reputable travel agent.
Also make sure to notify your bank of your travel plans, especially if you’re traveling outside the country.
The BBB says that when traveling you should make all of your purchases with a credit card instead of a debit card. This makes it easier to dispute the charges later, if necessary. Make sure you are also monitoring your account along the way.