CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's never too early to begin making your holiday travel plans, whether it's flying to be with family, or going on a holiday vacation.
But at the same time, we need to be aware of scammers lurking.
Did you know that in just the past four months, June to October, more than $300,000 has been lost to travel scams? In fact, so far in 2021, $630,000 has been lost to these scams.
That information comes to us from the Better Business Bureau's Katie Galan, who also tells Action 10 News, "even though we're in the middle of a pandemic, and we're still under all these travel restrictions, people are still being taken advantage of. Scammers are still reaching out."
Common Travel Scams:
1. Vacation rental con
2. "Free" vacation scams
3. Hotel scams
4. Third-party booking site scams
5. Timeshare reselling cons
Galan says the five scams above are the most common vacation travel scams. Third-party booking is particularly frequent.
"If you don't have privacy settings on your computer, on your phone, things like that," she says. "If those privacy settings aren't up-to-date, scammers are getting very sophisticated, and they're able to see who's looking at what and they'll target you."
Remember, scammers want access to your personal and credit card information.
So, how can you protect yourself? What can you do? Galan offers these five tips to protect yourself.
How to Protect Yourself:
1. Get it in writing
2. "Too good to be true"
3. Avoid wiring money
4. Call the rental owner
5. Unsolicited offers
If you feel you've been scammed, go to BBB.org or the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.
"A lot of people just aren't that well-informed about scams and how they work," Galan tells us. "And they always think 'oh, the other person's going to get scammed. My neighbor's going to get scammed. It's not gonna be me'".
It only takes a minute to get scammed or to protect yourself.