Though you can be sure that scammers are floating around at any time of year it’s the summer season which really brings them all out of the woodwork. It might be that the good weather lowers our guard or that travel makes us open to suggestion, but more likely than not it’s because summer is peak season and there are simply more targets to aim at during the summer months. We’ve compiled a list of the most common scams, though, so you can swot up and avoid the fraudsters this summer.
Drop and Switch Scams
This scam is one that’s hard to spot, but very, very easy to prevent. It involves a taxi driver/sales assistant/stall owner taking your payment and dropping a small note quickly in its place so that they can claim you’ve underpaid them or give you less change. A good way to avoid this is to calmly and visibly count out the payment and orally confirm it. This scam is certainly not limited to the summer nor vacations!
Summer Check-In Scams
This scam relies on you being too tired from travel to think on your feet; the check-in scam is actually an insidiously clever one. You’ll check in at your destination and be seen to your room without incident, but later on you’ll get a phone-call from someone who says they are on reception. They’ll say there’s been an issue with your card and ask you to confirm details or give the details of another card. Do not give them your details. Head down to reception to confirm and/or report the incident.
Vacation Take Away Scams
The takeaway scam is probably the last thing you’d expect and this is what the fraudsters rely on. They’ll give you, or put through the door, a flyer which advertises late night takeaway delivery and when you phone they’ll make an excuse as to why you cannot pay by cash at the door. When you give your credit card details they’ll give you a time estimate, but your food won’t arrive. They’ll have had plenty of time to use your credit card.
This one is really aimed at those looking for last minute getaways, and it’s surprisingly successful. What they do is pop up an ad for a vacation spot last minute at a low price that seems like a great deal. The catch is that they tell you they don’t accept credit cards and require the cash upfront so you need to transfer it to them. When you arrive at your location there’s no-one there to meet you and, if you’re really unlucky, the address is a derelict squat or empty parking lot. The moral? If it sounds too good to be true then it very well may be!
Internet Wifi Scams
Internet café’s are common now, but sadly so too are scams which centre on them. Remember a free wifi connection does not guarantee a secure connection, even if the café is legitimate. Remember to set your laptop to higher security settings and mark any network you connect to as public. You should also double check with proprietors which network is theirs.