A summer vacation has its perils; you can get sunburn, heat stroke and a nasty hangover, but what you really need to worry about is the summer scammers who come out to play in the peak seasons. So, in order to help you avoid these fraudsters and their money-grabbing schemes, we’ve compiled what we know about the most common scams to be found during the summer period. Knowledge is power, after all, and we want to empower you to side-step the scammers.
Summer Take Away Restaurant Scams
The take-away scam kicks in when you’re just arriving to your destination and, in part, relies on you being hungry and tired enough to have a lapse in judgement. They’ll put a flyer under your door which advertises a takeaway service that’s open late, and when you call they’ll claim that (for security reasons) they cannot take cash at the door and so need your credit or debit card details. You can imagine where this is going, no doubt.
Rental scams prey on people looking for last-minute deals and getaways by advertising great properties at low prices at short notice. They’ll tell you that you can’t pay by credit card as it’s a private rent, and that they need the money (or most of it) up front. This is when they take your money and run, leaving you to turn up at a derelict, or occupied, property none the wiser.
Drop and Switch Scams
This is a quick and common little scam that’s actually fairly easy to prevent if you’re on your guard. This involves the person you are giving money to switching in a smaller bill so that they can claim you’ve given them less and give you less change, or get you to give them to difference. A good way to avoid this is to visibly count out and orally confirm the money that you are giving over in payment.
Summer Scams at Check-In
Yet another late-night scam, this one happens after you check in to your hotel (hence the name). You’ll arrive and check in without incident, but soon after someone claiming to be the receptionist will call your room saying that your card has been declined. They’ll ask you to confirm your details or provide an alternative. They do it so smoothly that you may not even think about it again until you notice charges on your card.
Internet Wifi Scams
Internet cafes are common in most countries now, and they make it much easier for us all (especially those who work on the go) to stay connected. The problem is that these cafes cannot ensure a secure connection and it’s very, very easy to connect to a fake network which hackers can gain access to your systems from.
Remember – never give your credit card details over the phone, always check what money you hand over and always check the network you’re connecting to.