With more and more people becoming vaccinated against COVID-19, trip planning has become more common.  With that comes a warning of scams that are stealing from consumers looking to get great deals on airfare.

The Better Business Bureau says a couple of recent examples of these types of scams involve booking a flight online or even by calling a customer support number. After paying for the flight, a confirmation email is sent. However, upon close review of the email there is no actual ticket, yet your credit card was charged.

Another scam involves paying for airfare with your credit card, which seems like a normal transaction.  Then, shortly after the payment is made, you get a call from the travel company saying there was a price increase or that an extra charge is required to complete your booking.

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Needless to say, scams such as those mentioned above leave consumers in a tough spot as they've already provided payment and other personal information to the scammers. The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to avoid being ripped off:

  • Do your research. If you come across a company you haven’t dealt with before, research it before making any purchases. You can always visit the Better Business Bureau online for reviews and customer feedback.
  • Double check the URL before you enter personal and payment information. It can be easy to click on a sponsored ad or imposter website without noticing. Before you enter any sensitive information, double check that you are on the right website and that the link is secure. (Secure links start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase page.)
  • Be wary of third-party websites. Some websites appear to offer a legitimate service but are only fronts for a scam. Be suspicious of websites with no working customer service number and no physical address. Typos and grammatical errors can be indications of a scammer’s handiwork, too.
  • Make online purchases with your credit card. Fraudulent charges made on a credit card can usually be disputed, whereas that might not be the case with other payment methods. Unfortunately, there is no way to get back the personal information you may have shared.

Recently, the Minnesota Department of Health provided updated guidance for Minnesotans who are looking to travel. Not only is some degree of quarantining recommended, but travelers should plan on COVID-19 testing around their vacation. You can click here for more details.

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