Travel Don't Get Scammed Over the Holidays

00:20  08 december  2017
00:20  08 december  2017 Source:   TravelPulse

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2. Charity-related holiday scams . The main scam : Holidays are just the best time for scammers to tug on our heartstrings. Don ’ t give out personal details over the phone to someone you don ’ t know, and don ’ t tell them when you’re going to be away from your home. Don ' t Get Scammed !

Home > About Us > VyStar Blog > Don ’ t Get Scammed This Holiday Season. Keep a close watch over your financial accounts: Be on the lookout for any transactions that you did not initiate or authorize. Never send money for suspicious job offers, freebies or loans.

Pickpocket warning sign in Turin, Italy: PHOTO: Heed hotel scam warnings for a less-harried holiday. (photo via Flickr/Cory Doctorow)© Flickr PHOTO: Heed hotel scam warnings for a less-harried holiday. (photo via Flickr/Cory Doctorow)

Millions are planning to take a vacation this holiday season, and that means hotel bookings are being made in high volumes.

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But are they all legit?

With reports that 55 million bookings were affected by hotel-related scams, costing consumers nearly $4 billion, hotel booking scams are more common than travelers may realize.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has provided several tips on what travelers should watch for and how they can prevent getting scammed themselves.

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Sure security certificates don ' t always means you aren' t getting scammed , but it's definitely something you want to look for before transmitting your banking info over the internet. Your tips for not getting scammed around the holidays ?

Since many people want to get away for the holidays , these scams unfortunately often do succeed. Every day smart subscribers thank us saying they would have been scammed if they didn't subscribe to ScamBusters. Don ' t take a chance.

Make sure you have a confirmation email. AHLA says scammers don’t like to leave a paper trail.

"After taking a customer’s money, it is unlikely the operator of a scam will send a confirmation email because they don’t want customers to have verification that they sold something that doesn’t exist," noted the organization.

Travelers should also watch out for advance charges.

Have you been charged in full? The AHLA says that this is a red flag.

“When you book directly, the majority of hotels do not charge you in advance–they charge you upon check-in or check out. If anything, they will put a hold on your account for a portion of the reservation cost,” the organization notes.

Checking your credit card statement to make sure that the records match is also a good idea.

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Almost every week here at we recive emails from working holiday makers that have been scammed by someone pretending to be a employer via sites like Gumtree. Over the past years…

Don ’ t Get Scammed . Quite excited at the moment… I have just booked a flight to go out and visit my brother in darkest Peru! I decided to pop out to see my brother over the Christmas holidays , and had found a fantastic flight deal.

“If the charge appears to be coming from another entity, there is definitely reason to be alarmed. Your next step should be to call the hotel to verify they actually have a reservation for you,” says the organization.

If you are concerned, Google the hotel name and address from the confirmation notice to find out if the property is legit.

“There have been cases when scammers have provided 'reservations' to hotels that don’t exist or are not, in fact, a hotel–many times this applies to condo buildings in resort areas,” says the AHLA. "The best way to ensure your reservation exists and is what you think you have booked is to call the hotel directly."

No matter how the reservation was made, the property should be able to verify that the reservation exists.

One of the best ways to ensure you’re hotel bookings are on the up and up is to enlist the help of a reputable travel agent or at least book directly with the hotel itself.

Alaska Air: Early boarding for ugly holiday sweaters .
Be prepared for a lot of ugly holiday sweaters if you’re flying Alaska Airlines on Dec. 15. The carrier will celebrate what it's calling “National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day” by offering early boarding to customers wearing “festive holiday sweaters.” Alaska says the one-day promotion will be offered across its 115-city network, including flights operated by Virgin America and Horizon Air."Travel during the holidays can be stressful for guests, especially those who do not travel often,” Natalie Bowman, Alaska’s managing director of marketing and advertising, says in a statement.

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