A vacation is supposed to be one of the best parts of summer, but it can quickly be ruined by a travel scam that you never saw coming. For the rest of the summer and in the future, be aware of the signs of peak-season travel scams that can put a damper on your plans.
Sometimes travelers turn to third parties to find deals on hotels, flights, rental cars, and more. However, sometimes these third party discounts are actually scams. If you come across a discount that seems too good to be true, it probably is, and the scammer is simply looking for your debit or credit card information so that they can use it in the future. If possible, avoid third parties altogether and book your reservations directly through the company. Many times, they’ll honor a low price if you find it elsewhere.
Currency Exchange Fees
This travel scam is one of the oldest around and involves exchanging your currency at the airport. Sometimes, instead of a bank, airports will give an exchange outfit operation of certain ATMs. These ATMs will likely advertise “no fees,” however, they’ll often charge you the same amount as an airport counter (up to %15). At our parking management company, we suggest exchanging your currency at a bank or credit union, where the exchange fee is usually the lowest.
Whether you’ve entered your name in a “giveaway” or you’ve been “randomly selected” to receive a free vacation, that vacation likely won’t be what you’re expecting. Sometimes, there will conveniently be no dates available for your vacation (no matter how many available dates you give). Other times, you’ll be booked for the lowest-grade accommodations and will then be prompted to upgrade for more money. You may also end up having to pay way more than you expected to due to “booking fees” or other questionable “taxes.”
Fake Vacation Rental
If you’re looking for a vacation home rental for you and your friends or family, it can be tough to choose one when you can’t actually see them. Because of this fact, scammers often take advantage of travelers looking for rentals. You may find beautiful photos of the perfect vacation home and in order to book it, you’ll need to hand over cash or your credit card information. Once the scammer has what they want, you’ll arrive at the address ready for your vacation. Instead of what you expect, you may find that the home is in terrible shape or worse, doesn’t even exist. Make sure when you book a vacation rental, it’s through a reputable company.
“Limited Time” Offerings
Have you ever come across a travel deal that pressures you to book as soon as possible because the deal is only available for a limited time? While some legitimate travel sites will post an offer with an expiration date, travel suppliers don’t often demand that you immediately book your reservation. These high-pressure situations can lead to false promises, abused credit/debit card information, and more, so be cautious with whom you book your deal.
Have you ever been scammed before? Tell us about your experience! It may help future travelers avoid the same mistakes. In the meantime, why not make your airport parking reservation with a reputable parking management company the next time you fly? At Propark, we can help you find the best parking location.