This chilly weather has us thinking about vacation destinations, and Jason Meza of the San Antonio office of the Better Business Bureau says scammers are thinking the same thing, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Meza says a San Antonio woman recently lost $31,000 to a scammer who promised to get her out of her commitment to a 'time-share' rental.
"In this particular con, where a local victim lost $31,000 plus, was a victim of a time share resell scam, which we have seen come up in the last few months," he said.
Meza says in 2018, the BBB received reports of 2500 travel related complaints, with losses to consumers of $1.6 million, and he says with the coming of spring break and summer vacation time, the scams are popping up again.
Meza has these tips for avoiding travel-related scams:
* Book through a reliable travel agent or travel site. You can find a reputable travel agency on BBB.org.
* Get details about your trip in writing. Be sure to confirm the details, such as total cost, any restrictions, flights, hotel reservations and car rental.
* Pay with a credit card. Paying by credit card offers the most protection should something go wrong because you can challenge the charges.
* Consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance provides coverage for particular perils which are specific conditions under which it will pay claims. Be sure to shop around and read the terms and conditions before purchasing.
He says always be wary of any 'deals' which involve additional fees, or claims that you have won a priase but need to send in money for 'shipping' or for some other bogus purpose.
And, he says try to avoid posting pictures of your vacation until you get home. It simply telegraphs the message that because you are at this awesome destination, your home is empty and might be a good target for burglars.