It’s summertime in America, which means it’s also time to travel.
“As we enter into the summer travel season with warmer temperatures and tulips in bloom, thoughts of historic cold are still fresh in the minds of Americans in many parts of the country, said Marshall L. Doney, AAA chief operating officer, in a statement.
But Americans should be weary. Not all is quiet on the traveling front. This imgur user, for example, posted a photo of many ways that Americans tourists can be scammed and taken advantage of while away from home.
One example includes “Rose for your girlfriend,” where someone will approach you and your significant other, offer a rose for an expensive fee and pressure you into buying it for them. This is commonly found in France, Spain and Italy.
In New York City, a common scam — called “The music artist” — includes someone approaching you with a music CD and asking you to buy it to help their musical career. If you fail, the artist and any friends with them will approach and intimidate you into paying for the album.
“The best rule is: Never accept free or discounted things. IT'S A TRAP!” one commenter said.
This advice is just the tip of iceberg when it comes to scams. Budget Travel reviewed 10 different scams that are frequent in the United States, including people offering tourists fake food menus to get their credit card numbers, for example.
Elsewhere in the world, scammers will offer to book a hotel and apartment accommodations, The Telegraph reported, and the traveler has no reservation but credit card information is released.
“The safest way to book accommodation is through a tour operator as part of a package holiday, as the operator has to take responsibility for the booking and guarantee that you won't lose money,” Nick Trend, the Telegraph’s consumer travel expert, explained. “By contrast, many villa rental websites are simply advertising services and you are booking directly with the owners, not via an agent or operator. You may pay a little less, but there is a greater risk of fraud and disputes may be more difficult to resolve.”
The Federal Trade Commission also has a list of different websites and resources that users can check out before traveling. Some of the advice handed out by the FTC surrounds general traveling tips and how to avoid scams with rental listings and drivers' licenses.
“Sightseeing, sunbathing, skiing — who doesn’t like a good vacation?” the FTC asked. “But don’t relax just yet. Whether it’s promising free or discounted trips, posting phony rental listings or telling timeshare sellers they’ve got a buyer lined up, scammers are working to get a cut of your hard-earned travel money.”
That’s advice we can all follow.