The scammers and cheats are ready for the holidays. Make sure you’re ready for them. Here are a few things to watch for, courtesy of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.
ATM Skimming: When paying at the pump for gasoline, keep an eye out for unusual-looking card readers, false keypads and suspicious cameras.
Email Chain Letters: Inboxes are flooded with free or cheap offers for 5-star accommodations, airline tickets or cruise passes, but clicking links may install malware or viruses. Avoid unsolicited too-good-to-be-true offers.
Front Desk Calls: Hotel guests receive calls from “the front desk” asking them to verify payment information, but the callers are actually criminals.
Sketchy Cab Drivers: Be wary if drivers claim that certain hotels or motels are closed and “suggest” other locations; there may be incentives for drivers to create business for less-than-ethical companies. Check bbb.org to find reliable domestic taxi services.
Social Engineering: Swindlers use social media to obtain personal information about travel plans. Avoid posting specifics that entice thieves to loot temporarily vacant homes. Also, be wary of sudden calls or unsolicited emails regarding flights or vacation packages; never provide personal information or credit card numbers to unsolicited inquirers.