Attorney General Kane Offers Tips for Avoiding Popular Travel Scams

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane is offering guidance to Pennsylvanians on popular travel scams.

This latest advisory is the third in a summer series of travel-related alerts designed to keep consumers safe from fraud during the busy summer travel season.

“Nothing ruins a vacation more than becoming a victim to a scam,” Kane said. “Consumers need to stay one step ahead of the con artists and follow our tips to protect themselves while vacationing.”

Attorney General Kane encouraged Pennsylvanians to watch for these popular travel scams while on holiday this summer:

Is This the Real Deal?

One bus company may be the best way to travel or a ticket distributor may offer the best seats, but are you getting involved with a real company? Always use the official websites for companies to ensure you do not fall into the hands of impostors with a very similar sounding name.

Where Is My Bag?

Traveling by taxi with a lot of luggage? Be mindful of one scam which involves a cab driver, who insists on unloading your bags at your hotel or the airport. He tells you he is in a rush, slams the trunk and speeds away. Only later do you notice that one of your bags is missing.

Be aware of your surroundings. Take note of the driver’s name, cab number and company when you get in. If you do fall victim to this scam, you can at least provide some identifying information to law enforcement.

Wi-Fi Hot Spot?

Devices can be used to create a fake Wi-Fi hotspot that looks legitimate. Scammers will give the hotspot a similar or identical name to the hotel or coffee shop’s actual hotspot and wait for people to log on. From there, anything the unsuspecting users do, such as access a bank account or check a credit-card balance, is easily spied upon.

Even though it has become easier to conduct financial transactions over the web, be mindful of free Wi-Fi access and limit access to your bank or credit card accounts. Scammers will also keep track of usernames and passwords to access information at a later date.

“Hello, this is the Front Desk.”

It’s the middle of the night and the phone rings in your hotel room. You’re disoriented and you’re waking up in a strange room. You might not even question the caller when he says he is calling from the front desk.

There has been some kind of computer glitch and they need you to verify your credit card information. But it’s not the front desk; it is a scam artist calling you to obtain your credit card information. Before telling the caller your credit card information, hang up, and call the front desk directly.

Pizza Anyone?

Have you ever stayed at a hotel and found a pizza delivery menu conveniently slipped under your door? Be careful when placing an order with your credit card; that telephone number may not be connected to a pizza parlor, but may be connected to identity thieves.

If you’re craving take-out, get a recommendation from the hotel front desk.

Pennsylvania consumers who believe they have been a victim of a travel-related scam should contact the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 1-800-441-2555. Complaints may also be filed at www.attorneygeneral.gov


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