During the hot summer months when vacationers and travelers are relaxing in the warm weather and have their guard down is a prime time for scammers to operate. You may be visiting an unfamiliar town where you are more likely to be targeted by scammers. There are numerous scams and some of the more common ones to look out for are set out below.
Short Change Summer Scams
This is a common practice, not limited to summer scams which is usually operated by shop staff or taxi drivers. It involves conning you out of your rightful change. You pay for your service with a note, and quickly they will drop a lower value bill and suggest you have not given them enough money or they will give you change for the lower currency bill. The way around this is to make sure you say to them the value of the note you are handing over.
Online Accommodation Scams
These involve the renting of summer vacation properties. Adverts can be placed in local newspapers or on non vetted websites offering rental properties last minute at maybe bargain rates. On answering the advert, you will be asked to pay for the rental in advance by a wire transfer as they will not accept a credit card. This is the scam as when you arrive at your rental, you will find that it is an invalid address or someone (owner or tenant) is in the property and knows nothing about any rental agreement. You have been scammed and the renter is off enjoying the high life on your money. Beware these kinds of summer scams.
Food Delivery Scams
If you have had a long trip to your vacation destination and have arrived late at night when all the restaurants are closed, you sometimes are hungry and want some food. Beware, because scammers can operate in this situation as well. You may have been handed a flyer or have one pushed under your door advertising a late night delivery service. You call the number, place your order and pay by credit card as they do not accept cash on delivery. The food does not arrive, and when you call the number again you get no reply. The scammers have your credit card details and are then free to make purchase using your card information.
Scams at Check-In
This is another common summer scam which usually happens late at night. You check in at your hotel giving all the usual credit card deposits and information. You are tired and go off to bed. The phone then rings claiming to be from the hotel reception desk, querying some of your credit card details or saying your card has been declined and can you confirm the details or give particulars of another card. Sleepy and fatigued from your trip, you do so. In the morning, when fresh, you check with reception and they confirm that they did not make any call. Scammers have got your card info and potentially can scam you out of a lot of money.
Internet Wi-Fi Scams
Beware of Wi-Fi scams. Most vacation locations like bars and public places have many opportunities to log on to free Wi-Fi services. Remember though that it may be free but it may not be secure. Scammers can set up counterfeit networks which will be able to steal your email details and maybe even your online banking details.