TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - As more Americans get vaccinated for COVID-19, many are eager to make travel plans. Scammers know this and they are finding new ways to take your money and steal your information.
News 10 spoke with the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau about two ways thieves are targeting you.
The first is a precheck scam. You may want to take advantage of trusted traveler programs like TSA Precheck. These programs make it easier for you to get through airport security quickly. Scammers, however, can slow you down if you land on their fake websites. These sites are designed to trick you into thinking you are on the legitimate site where you register and re-register for these programs. Once you're there, you're asked to pay a fee and fill out forms with your personal information. In the end, you don't end up registered and you're out money.
Scammers behind this next trick target you before you even make it to the airport and, just like the first, it involves fake websites and even fraudulent customer service numbers. They offer stellar deals on what end up being fake flights. Scammers may even send you a confirmation email but you never get your ticket.
BBB President and CEO Tim Maniscalo says, "If you see something in which the price is just too good to be true it probably is so just be very, very careful. We're seeing that now with airline flights because people are back flying and they're back wanting to travel and there's a lot of pent-up demand about traveling, getting back out on vacation and things like that so this is something that the scammers are seeing out there and they are taking advantage of it."
There are steps you can take so you don't fall for these scams.
Check those web links. Look for "https" at the start of each web address. That "s" means the link is secure.
In the United States, all government websites end in ".gov."
Look for clues on the website like typos and grammatical errors. This could mean the website is fake.
Also, use a credit card when shopping online. This way, if you do get duped, you can dispute the charge and get your money back.
If you do fall victim to one of these scams you can help others! Report the scam to the Better Business Bureau through its Scam Tracker.