The FBI Phoenix Field Office is warning the public of travel scams ahead of this holiday season, encouraging the public to be aware of travel scams, and actions to take to help prevent yourself from falling victim.
It is that time of year where many will look for deals on flights home for the holidays, and if you haven’t booked yet, you are already “late to the game”. Scam artists know the desperation and will take advantage any way they can.
Travel scams come in many forms; emails, cold calls, social media, and submit or play to win drawings. Many scam artists will send you the same fake deals through both email and text.
Before you book that discounted hotel room, car rental, or flight reservation, review these tips from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Say no to robocalls. If you answer your phone to an automated message, hang up and ignore it.
- Be aware of unexpected emails and text messages. Ignore and delete messages.
- Research a company before booking with it. Look up reviews and ratings to see if other customers were satisfied with the services. What may have worked for a friend, may not work for you.
- Know the cancellation policy. Before booking, take time to ask about the company’s refund policies for flight reservations, car rentals, and hotel bookings. Get these policies in writing.
- Pay with a credit card. This will give you more protection than paying with cash, a check, or a debit card.
- If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you believe you have been the victim of an online scam, please contact FBI Phoenix at (623) 466-1999. Victims are also highly encouraged to file a complaint with the FBI at ic3.gov.