Summer seems to be a very popular time for scammers and fraudsters. It could be because the good weather fills us with happy thoughts and brings down everyone’s guard, or because traveling to new places makes us more vulnerable to such tricks. Either way, summer is the main time to be wary of scams and fraudsters so arm yourself with knowledge as to what summer scams there are to beware of.
Take a look at these common vacation scams to beware of:
Vacation Scams on Rentals
You might find a last minute summer vacation home up for rental online or in a local paper that’s too good to be true. As it’s last minute they’ll ask you to pay upfront and they’ll tell you to pay cash because they don’t accept credit card. This is a likely to be a vacation scam! When you arrive there’ll be no-one there to meet you and there’ll already be someone in the property (the owner or a tenant). You might even find that the address is a derelict house or parking lot. Be wary of a deal that seems too convenient; it usually is.
Take Away Scams
Upon arriving to your summer vacation spot late in the evening you might be handed a flyer, or have one pushed through the door, which adverties late night takeaway deliveries. You’re tired, you’re hungry and there’s nothing else about so you call them, but they tell you they don’t take cash upon arrival. This is a safety measure, they say, and as such they require credit card details. Except your dinner won’t arrive and when you all the same number no-one picks up; the scammers are already making purchases with your credit card.
Check-In Vacation Scams
Another scam which relies on you being tired late at night is the check-in scam. You go through the usual rigmarole of checking in when you arrive and are shown up to your room without incident. A short while later as you’re brushing your teeth or just dropping off to sleep a call will come through. They’ll claim to be the Front Desk and say there has been a problem with your card. If you get such a call do not give them your credit card details – hang up and go down to the desk to confirm that there has been an issue and/or report the incident if there has not.
Internet Wifi Scams
The number of cafes and restaurants with free wifi in such areas may seem like a great thing to you, but keep in mind that this does not guarantee a secure connections. It would be very easy to connect to a fake network and have scammers access all of your personal details so be sure to use recognisable chain cafes where and when possible. This is not so much as a summer vacation scam as a general scam that can affect you anywhere, anytime of the year.
Drop and Switch Scams
Another summer vacation scam that can happen to you at anytime in any country. This is a tricky one to spot as it involves a taxi driver or shop assistant/owner taking your payment and then quickly switching in a small bill in order to claim you owe them more money or to give you less change. Prevention is the best thing in this case and you can prevent such scams by visibly counting out and orally confirming the amount of money you are handing over.