Daytime Travel Scams - WFLA News Channel 8

Daytime Travel Scams

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TRAVEL SCAMS

They don't only happen during summer travel, but all year round:

The fake front desk call. It's the middle of the night, and the phone rings in your room. Waking up from a sound sleep in a strange bed, you're disoriented anyway, so you might not question the caller when he says he's calling from the front desk. There's been some kind of computer glitch, and they need to verify the credit card information you have on file.But it's not the front desk. That was a scam artist calling you, and if you give him your credit card information, he'll run up all kinds of crazy charges on your card before you get up in the morning.

The spoofed wi-fi hot spot. Frozen drink poolside? That's fine — but you might want to avoid the pineapple. In hacker-speak, a "pineapple" is device used to create a fake wi-fi hotspot that looks like a legitimate one. Crooks will give it a similar or identical name to a hotel or coffee shop's actual hotspot and wait for people to log on. From there, anything the unsuspecting users do — access a bank account, check a credit-card balance — is easily spied upon.

The nonexistent vacation rental. More than 3 million people used AirBnB in 2012, and its number of listings grew from 120,000 to 300,000 in about a year. Millions more travelers use sites such as VRBO.com and HomeAway.com for other cheap or unconventional places to stay. But this increasing popularity means scam artists use these sites to look for victims.
After wiring the money, the victim found out that the person she'd been corresponding with didn't actually own the property, and her "million-dollar" view was just another scam statistic.
NEVER wire money to the "owner" -- always use a credit card that can then be reversed if you get scammed.

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