WTOC Investigates: Labor Day travel schemes and scams - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC Investigates: Labor Day travel schemes and scams


Making travel plans for Labor Day? Be careful when you book your hotel rooms.

When you start searching for that perfect Labor Day destination, watch out for what websites you use to book a hotel. Phony third party travel sites, with great deals, may hook you and your money.

“The issue with these is you go to them instead of them going to you,” said Tom Stephens, Better Business Bureau.

Stephens said these bogus sites can't really be called scams, but it's big business. Around 2.5 million fake bookings a year, raking in 200 plus million dollars.

“As long as they get some money to the hotel most of the time. You may not get the room you want, you may not get anything at all. But you'll never get your money back after this has happened,” said Stephens.

Be safe, use the actual hotel website or known travel sites like Orbitz, Expedia, and Priceline. 

If you make it into a hotel, now you have to worry about scams while on vacation. The Federal Trade Commission reports travelers are getting phone calls in the middle of the night at their hotel rooms claiming to be the front desk. They tell you the computers have crashed, and that they need your credit card number.

Sleepy?  You may give it out. But it’s not the hotel, it’s a con artist calling.

“Someone has called, asked for a random room number and they now have your credit card.”

Or how about those innocent pizza flyers under your door, they may not be from a real pizza store. You call the number, and they'll ask for your credit card number.

You won't get a pizza, but they'll get your money.

The most dangerous hotel scam:  fake Wi-Fi hot spots.  The hotspot may even have the hotel's name on it, but it was set up by a nearby scammer, perhaps sitting in their car. Ask the hotel what their Wi-Fi is called, and what the login is, when you check in.

And when traveling, remember, use your credit card not your debit card. You have more protection from scammers and theft.

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