June 25, 2018 10:13 pm
Updated: June 25, 2018 10:15 pm

The most common travel scams to avoid

As the summer travel season heats up, tourists are being warned to watch out for scams which can target even the most experienced traveler. Consumer Matters reporter Anne Drewa explains.

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Preparing for summer vacation? Be warned.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said 2,500 hundred travel scams were reported to its scam tracker in 2017.

Coverage of Consumer Matters on Globalnews.ca:

Many of the scams aren’t new, but they persist.

The BBB said the broken meter taxi scam is one of the most common scams in other countries.

“They end up charging you a lot more than what the normal rate would be. I’m not saying that all taxi drivers are bad and do this, that’s certainly not the case, but it’s certainly one to look out for,” said the BBB’s Evan Kelly.

The BBB warns you to be wary of discount sites if you plan to order tickets for a special attraction online.

Instead, you’re advised to go to the attraction’s legitimate website where it’s more secure.

“Just be aware that there are people out there who will basically copy Groupon sites,” Kelly said.

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READ MORE: Completely legal travel scams and why they’re worth paying some attention to

Claire Newell, a travel Expert and owner of Travel Best Bets, said one of the most popular scams targeting tourists around the world right now is the distraction scam.

Tactics include spilling something on you, pressuring you to buy souvenirs or asking for the time while someone else picks your pocket or purse.

“It’s nearly always in the busy locations or popular tourist sites. It’s on metros or the subway or bus system. Just be careful with your belongings,” said Newell.

Cyberthieves are also hard at work and becoming more sophisticated when it comes to scanning your chip and PIN numbers from your bank, credit cards and passports.

“It used to be that they would have to double swipe those cards. Now, they can get that information in some cases from seven, eight, 10, even 20 blocks away, “said Newell.

Newell suggests investing in radio-frequency identification (RFID) protection, which is designed to block signals from fraudsters.

Other helpful travel tips from the BBB:

– Wait to post on social media

– Check your home insurance

– Share a copy of your itinerary with a family member or friend

– Take a map if you are going through an area with poor cellphone reception

– Use hotel safes

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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