RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Spring break is right around the corner and while you can still book last-minute deals, you have to make sure that deal is not a scam. Searching online is a popular way to find spring break trips. While there are many legitimate travel deals, be on alert for those third-party websites with offers that are too good to be true.
Meredith Radford with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern NC says, "Make sure you are on the actual website for buying flights because sometimes those scammers can make a website look real when it's really not. Try not to click on links if you get an unsolicited message."
Some websites make it appear you're booking with a well-known airline or popular home rental site. If you use these websites, you could pay more than you should, or even worse the website is a scam. If you fill out any personal information on these copycat scam websites, you could also give scammers access to your frequent flier miles and hotel points.
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No matter what the travel deal, read the fine print and look for hidden fees. Also before buying any trip, understand the cancellation policy. When it comes to paying for your trip, credit cards always offer the most protection if you need to make a dispute.
The BBB also says you need to watch out for phone calls or letters claiming that you've "won a trip" or websites offering deals that are too good to be true. It's easy to extend questionable offers like these, but the vast majority of them leave hopeful travelers in limbo and out of money.
When it comes to travel insurance, it's always wise to buy the extra protection, but before you do, make note of what is covered and what's not. These policies are typically very specific, so take the time to read the fine print to see if it's worth the added cost.
The BBB also warns consumers about the following scams that often take place during the travel season:
1. Wi-Fi Scams: Avoid using public Wi-Fi, including hotel internet access, for online banking or other financial account management. Fraudsters have the ability to create fake Wi-Fi hubs and can easily gain access to personal information and passwords.
2. Hotel Check-In Tricks: It's common for hotels to call and check in with guests shortly after they arrive, but be on guard if the caller asks for personal information, such as credit card information, to finalize check-in. Never give out financial information over the phone. Instead, visit hotel management in person.
3. Delivery Coupons: These deals usually are slid under your hotel door and can be enticing for busy travelers who need a quick bite to eat. The trick comes when a customer calls to place the order and is asked to give credit card info over the phone. Don't do it! Check with the front desk before placing an order to ensure the restaurant is real or offer to pay when the meal is delivered.