Top travel scams to avoid

By Diane Lee (WSPA)

(SPARTANBURG, SC)

Spring break is just around the corner. But before you head on your trip, a warning about travel scams.

HOTEL CHECKOUT SCAM:

Patti Scruggs is heading on vacation next week. She says she’ll make sure she isn’t victimized like she was on a trip last June.

“They run the card and said OK, it didn’t go through. We paid cash, we was like, OK that’s fine, that’s fine, we paid cash. Then when we got back home and got our bank statement, the next bank statement, it had went through on the card also, so it was like we double paid on the room.”

Scruggs says she never got her money back because she didn’t notice the receipt said it went through on the card, until it was too late.

FRONT DESK CALL SCAM

Hotels can be the hero against another type of travel scam, the bogus front desk call.

Barrett Alexander, the General Manager at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Spartanburg says he trains employees to verify callers because this scam is so common.

“We get people who call into the hotel and the desk takes the call and they’re saying can I be transferred to room 203. And if the desk agent is not properly trained they’ll just transfer that person to room 203 and then it’s a scam on the other end saying hey I need your credit card information, something’s wrong with check in, that type of thing,” said Alexander.

FAKE FOOD FLYER SCAM

Now this hotel doesn’t allow doesn’t allow outside flyers but many do, and some victims have been caught in the takeout menu scam where they order pizza or chinese, give them their credit card number, never get their food but instead get a huge bill.

Barrett says, “Always ask the front desk, always always always.”

And Scruggs adds, “check the receipt.”

CLOTHING STAIN SCAM

Finally, one of the most common travel scams to watch out for in the airport is what’s called the “stain scam.”

That’s where a pick-pocketer bumps into and skirts their food on your clothes. They act like they are cleaning it off, but really it’s a distraction method so they can steal your wallet.

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