Don't get burned by scams on your summer holiday
Summer brings sun, fun and relaxation, but it can also bring scammers. When planning your vacation, be sure to leave these SPFs — scams, phonies and frauds — behind.
With summer right around the corner, you may be anticipating an upcoming vacation. No doubt you have taken the time to plan and prepare for the trip, but be on guard for scammers who are looking to upend your plans. Last year, theFederal Trade Commission1 reported consumers lost nearly $104 million in travel scams.2
Even for experienced travelers, scams can be notoriously hard to spot. To stay safe this summer, remain alert when you set out, and seek to verify any information you’re given to avoid these three common scenarios:
- “Payment please!” After checking into your hotel and settling into your room, you receive a phone call from someone at “the front desk.” The caller says your payment method was declined and requests another form of payment over the phone. Before you share any information – stop! The call could be from a fraudster. Instead, go to the front desk personally to address any potential issues.
- Home away from home? Watch out for fake property listings. Fraudsters create lookalike sites offering rentals that may not exist, are already booked or significantly differ from what was advertised. Often, you are urged to reserve quickly via an unsecured payment method or person-to-person payment platform, such as Zelle®. Always call the company on a known number to verify payment details verbally before sending funds.
- Fun in the sun. One of the best parts of a vacation is all the adventure that comes with it. When booking activities and excursions, double-check the provider’s legitimacy, and – if possible – organize your outings though your hotel. Just like when renting lodging, you risk having no recorded reservation if you book with an unknown provider – or no excursion at all.
Five best practices so you and yours may enjoy a fraud-free family vacation
Fortunately, you can take several steps to reduce the likelihood of being targeted by scammers on your summer holiday. As you plan your next adventure, be sure to think about following these top-five security tips:
- Use secure payment channels. Wiring money or sending it as a person-to-person transaction exposes you to risk because the funds usually cannot be recalled. Instead, pay with a credit card or utilize a secure payment platform.
- Identify reputable companies or websites. Protect yourself when booking your plans. Beware of deals offered on social media or through advertisements that seem too good to be true. They probably are.
- Do your research. Investigate the listing organization and property; look for online reviews, complaints or spoofed (lookalike) websites.
- Monitor your accounts. Review your transactions periodically and enable online alerts to receive notifications of potential unauthorized activity. Remember to report fraud immediately.
- Protect your own profile: As a basic safety rule, it’s always important to limit the information you and your family members share on social media to reduce the risk of becoming a target.
We can help
If you believe you may have been a victim of fraud or have questions about fraud, immediately contact your J.P.Morgan team.
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