Avoid these pitfalls for a scam free Spring Break

Spring Break is under a month away. Cancun, Panama City Beach, Florida, and South Padre Island, Texas, are the most popular destinations, but it isn’t all fun and games.

By plane, by car, by boat, there are so many ways to get away. Over half of people will travel during Spring Break. That means there will be over half a million people at risk for travel fraud.

In the last few years, there’s been a 16% growth in travel fraud. So be sure to protect your money when you go out.

“Watch out for giving your credit card to just anybody. Just give it to the hotel clerk,” said Bob Cook, director of sales at GoTo Travel.

According to mentalfloss.com, one of the most common scams is taxis drivers overcharging passengers with fees and taking them on the least direct routes. To avoid falling prey, find a shuttle to your hotel or use your own map app and tell the driver the route you want to go.

Online home bookings like VRBO and Airbnb may not be what you think they are.

“They will show these gorgeous pictures of the property and when you get there either the property is being repaired, it’s next to a dump, your room overlooks to garbage pickup area or an alley,” Cook warned.

Now, Airbnb does not release payment to homeowners until 24 hours after the renter checks in. But to avoid any of this, Cook urges vacationers to “Plan ahead! That’s how you avoid being taken advantage of when you’re on your vacation.”

Going out? Watch out for the bar scam. A friendly local may strike up a conversation and though your wallet and valuables are safe, your tab may be higher than expected. So, don’t open one!