Hurray for the holidays, visiting family, going on vacation buying presents are a few of the highlights we like to look forward to each year. Sadly, the scammers are also planning, they’re figuring out ways to steal your money or identity this holiday season. Use these tips to avoid the holiday travel scam:

Hoax websites

Using email, text messages, and a myriad of other ways, scammers send great vacation offers for flights, hotels or condo rentals offering luxury accommodations at bargain prices. Many of these travel websites appear legitimate, but once you’ve booked your vacation, the company seems to vanish. Always try to book your travel with a company that shows a good track record of working with clients. Also, take the time to really read the online reviews.

Wi-Fi Wisdom

We all love surfing the internet for free, however, avoid using public Wi-Fi, including hotel internet access, for online banking or other financial matters. Wi-Fi hubs are easily created with the click of a few buttons, allowing criminals access to your personal information and passwords.

Hotel Shenanigans

It’s fairly common for hotels to call and check in with guests shortly after they arrive, but be on guard if you’re asked personal information, like credit card info, to finalize check-in. Never give out any financial or personal information over the phone, go to the front desk.

Vacation Rentals

Scammers can hack into legitimate online vacation rental listings making them look like their own. Keep an eye out for fake rental listings and too good to be true offers. Deal directly with the property owner or manager and be sure to verify the property exists by researching online.

Food Delivery Coupons

These deals are usually slid under the hotel door and are perfect for the busy travelers who want a quick bite to eat. The customer calls to place their order and gives their credit card info for payment and the food is never delivered, instead, your identity has been stolen. Always check with the front desk before placing an order to ensure the restaurant is real or offer to pay cash upon delivery.

Social Media

Avoid announcing to the world that your entire house is empty because you’re all on some grand vacation, it’s like an open invitation to burglars to come rob your home. Wait till after you get back home to share your vacation experiences.

For more information visit the FTC’s Travel Scam Website.

If you’re the victim of a scam, contact the BBB and be sure report it to the BBB’s Scamtracker.

To learn more about safe traveling visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Travel Scams website. Anyone who has believes they may have been a victim of one of these scams should contact their local law enforcement department and report it to the BBB Scam Tracker.


The information found on the Gerstenberger Law site is for educational purposes only.  Your situation and the situation of others is unique and more complex.  This is neither legal advice nor to be considered legal advice.  Contact us for advice about your specific situation

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