The summer period, with its lovely warm weather and with everyone wanting to have a great time, seems to be a popular time for scammers to be on the prowl for victims. You may be travelling in an unknown location which can leave you open to getting involved in a scam of some sort. You need to be aware of the scams; some of the popular ones are set out below.
Internet Wi-Fi Scams
You may well appreciate that free Wi-Fi is available at many locations while on your summer vacations, such as restaurants, bars and other public places, but be aware, free does not mean secure and you may connect to a bogus network where scammers may be able to access your email accounts or banking details.
Rental Property Scams
This summer scam relates to a rental advertisement in the local paper or a classified ad on an un-vetted website. You see a last minute rental offer at a bargain price. You are asked to pay in advance for your summer vacation and because it is a private rental they ask for the payment by wire transfer as they won’t accept a credit card. When you arrive at your rental, there is nobody to greet you and you find there is somebody already in the property, usually the owner or tenant. You realise you have been scammed and the scammers are off somewhere enjoying your money.
Take Away Restaurant Scams
This summer scam or vacation scam is concerned with late night food delivery service. Sometimes you receive a flyer or one is pushed under your door. As there is nothing open locally, you call the number and order your food. You are then told that the delivery driver will not accept cash on arrival so you have to pay by credit/debit card over the phone, which you do. The food does not arrive as promised so you ring the number again but no one answers. You have been scammed and they have had plenty of time to use your card details to make purchases.
Check-In and reception Scams
This is another late night scam which involves the check in at your hotel. After you have checked in and have gone to your room to relax or just go to bed after a tiring journey, you receive a telephone call purporting to be from the Hotel Front Desk. They say that your credit card has been refused and can you confirm your account number or give the details of another card. You give them the details and as you are tired you go to bed. In the morning, you may check with the desk and realise you have been scammed or you may not be aware of any problems until you get home.
Drop and Switch Scams
This scam usually involves the likes of shop assistants or taxi drivers. They will accept your money in payment but quickly drop a smaller bill on the counter or seat of the car and claim that you have not given them enough money or give you less change than you expect. The best way to avoid this scam is to tell them how much you are giving them when you hand over the cash.