Seen At 11: Scammers Look To Cash-In On Tourists During Busy Summer Travel Season
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The summer travel season is in full swing, and scammers are busting out new tricks to take advantage of tourists.
Free wi-fi is one of the most desired hotel perks for many travelers, but as CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, it’s also the latest way that scam artists will try to get access to your personal information.
“You might be searching for a wi-fi network and you find one with the hotel’s name, however, it could be that this wi-fi network is a sound-alike. It has nothing at all to do with the hotel,” Bill Efron, Northeast Regional Director, Federal Trade Commission, explained.
But Efron warned that isn’t the only hotel scam that travelers need to know about this summer.
“Another scam involves fake food delivery,” he said.
Scammers slide phony menus, or flyers advertising “free food delivery” under hotel doors.
“I really wouldn’t think anything about it. I would probably order from it,” one tourist said.
Order from the menu and you could be handing your credit card number over to thieves.
“Always go down to the front desk and ask them who is reputable to get takeout delivery,” travel expert, George Hobica, suggested.
Hobica also urged caution when taking phone calls in your room.
“We’ve seen scams where you get a telephone call in your hotel room and they say it’s the front desk, there’s a problem with your credit card, so they ask you to reconfirm your credit card number,” Hobica said.
Hobica said that you should also be careful when booking travel online.
“If you don’t know the site and the hotel rate is cheaper, don’t book it, there are a lot of scam sites out there, then you get to the hotel and there’s no booking,” Hobica explained.
The same holds true for vacation rentals.
“You should never wire money to pay for a security deposit, or vacation rental fee. There’s no way of getting it back,” Efron said.
The FTC recommends calling to verify all hotel reservations and travel arrangements before showing up.
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