KENNEWICK, Wash. - With summer right around the corner, many are planning their next vacation. For con artists, these consumers are the perfect targets.
Across the Northwest, consumers have lost about $50,000 to nearly 300 travel scams in the last year. 152 were reported in Washington state with $5,000 lost and nearly $8,000 attempted from scammers.
Anna Bruggeman with the Better Business Bureau of the Northwest, said customers should watch out for hoax sites, fake vacation rental listings and deals that seem too good to be true.
"It's easy for scammers to make those look like websites and you'll go on there and think it sounds really attractive. You click and put your debit card on there and then they cease communication," said Bruggeman.
The BBB is also warning people to avoid using public Wi-Fi, like hotel internet access, for online banking.
Bruggeman suggests consumers stick to trusted vacation sites with the "HTTPS" URL and the lock symbol.
The BBB encourages vacationers to be cautious in hotels as well. Bruggeman said it is common for hotels to call and check in with guests. In a new scam, people are calling rooms to ask for personal information like debit card information to finalize check-in.