Avoiding summer travel scams - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Avoiding summer travel scams

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Most people are looking for a good deal on their summer vacation.

Be careful, some bargains aren't always what they appear to be.

It's happening a lot of different ways right now.

"More and more people are booking online so there are web sites out there to assist those travelers," said Better Business Bureau President Tom Bartholomy.

However,  one web sites give scammers the opportunity to take advantage of consumers.

"They will actually take listing from real rentals and just grab the pictures and information and put them on their site and take you to the entire booking process," added Bartholomy.

Pay attention!  The BBB says the end of the transaction is where scammers can get you!

"They're going to be asking you to wire the money to them," said Bartholomy.

Sending money by way of wire transfer is like sending cash.   

So how do you protect yourself?

The BBB advises you pay for everything with plastic.  

"Credit cards offer a level of protection that debit cards and cash do not," said Bartholomy.

"You can have that charge back off of your account."

Another scam that crops up when a lot of people are traveling, companies enticing you with freebies.

"Companies that are located in South Carolina promise you two free airline tickets if you just come out and hear their presentation," said Bartholomy.

But people who take the bait find out if they don't sign up for the vacation deals, no free airline tickets.

And the BBB says there's a reason why these companies set up shop in South Carolina.

"North Carolina law says you can have that transaction canceled within three days of making that deal." said Bartholomy. 

"South Carolina that protection isn't there."

So before you give your money away, research the company you are doing business with.

That way you save yourself the trip and the heartache

"It takes on average a minute and 34 seconds for someone to check a report at www.bbb.org so why wouldn't you take that precaution," said Bartholomy.

Experts say you also want to be careful when you click on free wifi spots  when you are  in a hotel or airport.

Scammers are figuring out how to tap into your system and send you up pop ups. So don't click on those.

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