Attorney General Tim Griffin is warning Arkansans of several travel scams that target summer travelers.
“As Arkansans turn our attention to summer travel plans, it’s important that we are mindful of scammers who want to take advantage of us,” Griffin said. “Summer trips with family and friends often become some of our fondest memories, but those memories can be ruined if you end up being fleeced by a fraudster.”
Griffin listed the following common travel scams to watch out for:
Third-party booking scam
If you book your airfare, hotel, rental car or other travel through a third-party website, use caution. After booking, scammers call consumers directly to verify personal financial information—something a legitimate company would never do.
Ticket sale scam
Summertime is full of festivals and concerts that often sell out. Scammers take advantage of this and list tickets for sale at a discounted price. Consumers don’t find out until trying to attend the event that the tickets are fake.
Scammers approach with a convincing story that they ran out of gas and money. They claim to only need $40 to fill up the tank and may even offer to mail a check to repay you. The likelihood that the repayment will be received is slim. Either refuse to give the scammers money or offer to purchase fuel from a nearby gas station if it’s within a block or two.
Rideshare service scam
Scam rideshare drivers approach and identify themselves as working for a legitimate rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft, and they mention that a passenger just canceled a trip, leaving them available for a trip, but they must be paid in cash. Often, these drivers do not even work for a legitimate rideshare company. Similarly, any drivers who claim an “outage” is preventing them from accepting payment via the Uber or Lyft system is a red flag. Cashless travel is one of the main perks of using a rideshare company.
Fake front desk phone call scam
Scam artists call hotel rooms directly, often in the middle of the night. They say there has been a computer glitch and they need to verify your credit card information. Hang up immediately and contact the front desk to verify the call.
Griffin also noted the following travel tips:
- Put a travel alert on your debit or credit card to prevent issues or scams while out of town.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card because there are more protections available and it may be easier to dispute versus losing access to the cash in your bank account.
- Use social media with care—don’t post while you’re out of town. You might be inviting a criminal into your empty house.
- Withdraw cash from an ATM at a financial institution versus a standalone ATM to prevent your card information from being stolen.
For more information on safe summer travel and other consumer-related issues or to file a consumer complaint, visit ArkansasAG.gov or contact the Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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