Vacation/Travel Scams to Avoid

Vacation is supposed to be a time to unwind. Unfortunately, there are thieves who are waiting to strike when we let our guard down. That’s why it pays to keep customers updated on the latest travel scams.

Here are five all-too-common scams for customers to watch for:

  1. Fake Deals – Many destinations offer deals on luxury items, but some sellers of gems, jewelry and antiques are scam artists who take a percentage of the agreed sale price, with the rest payable upon delivery. The outcome: Customers lose the down payment and be left waiting for a delivery that never comes. Avoid the scam by shopping at reputable retailers in the area.
  2. Front Desk Scam – Hotel guests should beware if they get a late night call from the front desk claiming their credit card has been declined. Avoid the scam by hanging up or calling the front desk yourself.
  3. Fake Police – You may be approached by someone posing as a police officer, demanding to see—and finding fault with—their identification or accusing them of having committed a crime. If he is willing to overlook the incident for a small fee, it’s a scam. Avoid the scam by knowing where the local police station, hospital and U.S. Embassy are located and offering to drive there to pay the fine.
  4. Photo Bombs – A bystander may offer to take your picture, and when you accept he informs you of the fee. Or, you hand over your phone and he takes off with it. Avoid the scam by just saying no or negotiating prices in advance. Use selfie sticks, too.
  5. Taxi Fare Scam – When a cab fare seems high, it may be due to rigged meters or drivers taking needlessly long routes. Avoid the scam by only taking licensed taxis and determining the fare in advance.

To find out how you can work with a fraud specialist to help manage and protect your identity, contact a personal banker.