VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: During Popular Summer Vacation Season, Attorney General Moody is Warning of Online Travel Scams
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—During the popular summer vacation season, Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert warning Floridians about online travel scams. According to a recent report, annual online travel bookings on travel apps in 2022 surpassed the previous peak set in 2019, with $798 billion booking volume. Scammers are devising new, sophisticated methods to defraud unsuspecting travelers out of thousands of dollars and potentially leaving vacationers feeling stranded and helpless. To help protect Floridians, Attorney General Moody is listing some of the most common online travel scams and offering tips to avoid falling victim.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Summer is a popular time to take vacations with family and friends, but scammers are also looking to take advantage of travelers. That’s why I’m offering tips to Floridians about avoiding travel traps this summer. By taking simple precautions, Floridians can safely make arrangements and have a great vacation.”
Common online travel scams that Floridians should be cautious of include:
- Fake Travel Websites: Scammers create authentic-looking websites that mimic legitimate ones. These websites offer attractive deals and discounts, only to disappear after payment is made, leaving travelers without a confirmed reservation;
- Phishing Emails and Spoofing Calls: Fraudsters send deceptive emails or make phone calls pretending to be from well-known travel companies. These communications often request personal information or payment details under the guise of confirming reservations or offering exclusive deals;
- Vacation Rental Scams: Advertisements of fake vacation rentals on popular listing websites—often enticing travelers with large discounts. Once the payment is made, victims arrive at the location only to discover it does not exist or is already occupied; and
- International Travel Document Scams: Bad actors advertise online to help vacation planners obtain international travel visas, passports, driving permits and other official documents. These sites may charge high fees and send fake documentation that could put a traveler in legal trouble.
To protect against these scams, Attorney General Moody offers the following tips:
- Research a website or booking service thoroughly and verify the company’s legitimacy before making any reservations;
- Use secure websites that have a padlock next to the URL to book travel;
- Consider using a credit card as these cards offer extra protection; and
- Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
In March, Attorney General Moody released Scams at a Glance: Travel Traps ahead of the spring break season. This resource contains additional information to avoid falling for possible travel-related scams. Access the resource here.
Consumers can report online travel scams to Attorney General Moody’s office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
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The Florida Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division issues Consumer Alerts to inform Floridians of emerging scams, new methods used to commit fraud, increased reports of common scams, or any other deceptive practice. Consumer Alerts are designed to notify Floridians about scams and available refunds in an effort to prevent financial losses or other harm caused by deceptive practices. Anyone encountering a scam should report the incident to the Florida Attorney General's Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.