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Have a scam-free spring break

Posted at 8:08 AM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 09:08:50-04

Spring Break is under a month away. Cancun, Panama City Beach, Florida, and South Padre Island, Texas are the most popular destinations, but it isn’t all fun and games. Here are some scams to be on the lookout for during your time away.

In the last few years, there’s been a 16 percent growth in travel fraud. So be sure to protect your money when you go out.

“Watch out for giving your credit card to just anybody. Just give it to the hotel clerk,” said Bob Cook, Director of Sales at GoTo Travel.

One of the most common scams involves taxis. Some can overcharge passengers with fees and take you on the least direct routes. To avoid, find a shuttle to your hotel or use your own map app and tell the driver the route you want to go.

Online home bookings like VRBO and Airbnb may not be what you think they are.

"They will show these gorgeous pictures of the property and when you get there either the property is being repaired, it's next to a dump, your room overlooks to garbage pickup area or an alley,” Cook warned.

Now, Airbnb does not release payment to homeowners until 24 hours after the renter checks in. But to avoid any of this, Cook urges vacationers to “Plan ahead! That’s how you avoid being taken advantage of when you’re on your vacation.”

Going out? Watch out for the bar scam. A friendly local may strike up a conversation and though your wallet and valuables are safe your tab may be higher than expected. So, don’t open one!

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