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Don’t Fall for These 5 Travel Scams

It Doesn’t Hurt to Be Cautious

At our Newark Airport parking facility, we hope that you’ve never been conned or swindled out of your money – especially when it comes to travel. Here are five common travel scams that you should know about and watch out for:

Vendor demonstrations

Often times, street vendors who make crafty goods like bracelets or hats will ask passers-by to help them with a demonstration. They will then make a bracelet around your wrist or a hat on your head and when they’re done, they’ll ask you pay for the accessory they just made you. Chances are, you’ll feel obligated to pay for it.

Vacation rentals

You’ll usually find these scams in classified ares of websites like Craigslist.org. If you come across a home or apartment for rent at a very low price, it’s probably too good to be true. Many people fall for these prices and contact the “renter”, who asks for a deposit (usually via wire). Once you arrive at the property, you’ll find that it’s completely different than the ad or doesn’t even exist, and you’ll have no way to get your money back.

Slow cashiers

If you’re in a foreign country, you may come across a “slow counting” cashier or waiter. After you give these people money, they will deliberately count your change back to you at a slow pace. While doing this, they hope that you become impatient and just gather up the money (which isn’t all there) and go without counting it.

“Free” vacations

Remember when you entered to win that free cruise vacation at the last concert you were at? Well, the travel company just called and you’ve won! – except the vacation isn’t really free. You may be asked to fork over your credit card to “verify your eligibility” or to “pay a processing fee” before you can redeem your vacation (both of which are scams). Or you may have won the vacation, but have to pay the taxes and fees – which can end up being thousands of dollars.

No record of booking

This usually happens through third-party travel sites – they’ll book a hotel or airline ticket for you and ask you to pay for the reservation. Once you get to the hotel or airport, they won’t have any record of your booking, which can be very inconvenient and end up costing you twice as much.

What can you do?

So how can you avoid these travel scams? When booking your vacation, do so through a reputable website – book your plane ticket directly through the airline and your hotel room directly through the hotel. When out and about in another country, keep your valuables safe and don’t trust strangers offering to “help” you with something that you can do yourself. (They’re probably up to something.) Otherwise, use your best judgement when it comes to situations – if something doesn’t seem right, it’s probably not.