With the COVID-19 vaccine being administered all over the nation many people are looking forward to making travel plans for the summer. However, scammers are creating fake airline ticket booking sites to trick you, the Better Business Bureau said.
The BBB said, if you are buying airfare, double check the URL and phone number before providing your credit card information.
Lots of people are itchin’ to get out of town and take a vacation. After a really looong year it makes sense that people are at their computers looking for their next trip to book. However, before you do that make sure you aren’t being duped into paying more than you should… or not getting what you paid for.
The Better Business Bureau says they’ve already been receiving reports of scam from people. Scams include fake customer service numbers and fake airline booking sites. It’s been going in one of two ways:https://91ee90c8e71d5918fbf4ba786ade5570.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
- While researching you come across what seems like a great deal and you book your tickets, via website or number, and there won’t be an actual ticket in your “confirmation” e-mail.
- You book and pay for your flight on a travel website and then they call back saying there has been a price hike and you owe more money. A legit company will never do One person told the BBB,
I received a phone call right after [I booked the flight] stating that they wanted $100 per passenger to finalize my flight.” Then, after calling the airline to complain, the victim discovered that “the flight wasnt available to begin with. The flight was never booked… this company just charged my card.”
In either case the airline doesn’t have an actual booking of your flight because it was purchased from a scam website.
So, the big question is how do I avoid becoming a victim? The BBB offers up these tips:
- Do your research – this is important with anything you plan on purchasing online. Always check to make sure the company is legit.
- Double check the URL before submitting payment – secure links start with https://
- Double check third-party websites – some may seem legit but are actually a front for
- Make online purchases with a credit card – if you do unfortunately find yourself in a situation where you’ve been scammed, it’s easier to dispute fraud and get your money back when it’s on a credit card.
I know the weather is getting warmer and you’re excited to book that vacation you’ve been anxiously waiting to take, but before you get TOO excited and hit the “buy” button, follow these tips so you can have a hassle-free trip.
To avoid travel scams, the BBB recommends:
- Doing your research. If you come across a company you haven’t dealt with before, research it before making any purchases. Look on BBB.org for reviews and feedback from previous customers.
- Double checking the URL before you enter personal and payment information. It can be easy to click on a sponsored ad or imposter website without noticing. Before you enter any sensitive information, double check that you are on the right website and that the link is secure.
- Secure links start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase page. Learn more at BBB.org/BBBSecure.
- “Before you enter any sensitive information, make sure the website has the “https” that is huge and a lot of people miss that you see the http, you see the colon, you see the backslash but if you don’t see the s then that sight is not secure and your payment information can be hacked and you can’t trust where it’s going,” said Nichole Thomas, BBB.
- Being wary of third-party websites. Some websites appear to offer a legitimate service but are only fronts for a scam. Be suspicious of websites with no working customer service number and no physical address. Typos and grammatical errors can be indications of a scammer’s handiwork, too.
- Making online purchases with your credit card. Fraudulent charges made on a credit card can usually be disputed, whereas that might not be the case with other payment methods. Unfortunately, there is no way to get back the personal information you may have shared.
For more ways to protect yourself from travel scams, go to BBB.org/TravelScam.
Read More: BBB Warns of Airfare Scams