SOUTHERN COLORADO – Over the next few weeks millions of people will be taking off for spring break, traveling domestically and internationally.
Paul Myers-Bennett with BBB of Southern Colorado said, “It’s an exciting time to just kind of let go, get out of their usual pace, get out of town and do something fun.”
Sadly, the fun might be cut short if you haven’t planned ahead. Scammers are out in full force this time of year and if you’re not careful you could be their next victim.
AAA Colorado and the BBB say for families traveling with kids to college students, it really comes down to doing your homework, using common sense, and realizing that if something seems too good to be true it probably is.
Let’s start with getting off the airplane. Skyler McKinley with AAA Colorado said, “Somebody is coming up to you and saying I’ve got this great opportunity…somebody’s promising you a tour, an excursion…I would be cautious.”
What about getting to your hotel when you first arrive? The BBB said some taxi drivers might try to rip you off.
Myers-Bennett said, “They may be getting a cut to take you to a different hotel then you booked. They may tell you oh, that hotel is booked. Let me take you to one that’s better.”
So make sure you call your hotel ahead of time to check that your reservation is secure.
If you’re looking to rent a home Myers-Bennett said, “There’s a lot of people that are putting fake houses. You want to look on a credible website if you’re renting someone else’s place.”
McKinley urges travelers to try and book with a credit card as that can make it easier to get a refund if things go south.
“If there is an issue a debit card’s going to immediately pull from your bank account.”
Finally, avoid posting to social media about where you’re going. Not only can this invite burglars, but scammers might see this and target your loved ones.
Myers-Bennett said, “They will call up and say…your granddaughter or grandson is in jail. They can’t speak to you, but they need money now to get out. Please wire me money.”
Your best bet – save the Instagram and Facebook posts till you get home.
Spring break is also linked to a lot of alcohol consumption so be cautious of this and who you’re with when traveling. Another tip from AAA is that if you’re leaving the U.S. to look up any travel advisories that are in place in the country you’re headed to.