Summer: It brings out flowers, swimsuits and tans. But it also unfortunately brings out a fresh batch of scam artists.
The Better Business Bureau lists the following scams as the top 5 summer scams. We describe each summertime scam and the best ways to avoid it:
1. Vacation Scams
Scammers are after your vacation money. They might try to tell you that you won a vacation, that you can take a trip to Disneyland for half the price if you send them $100 first, or they might post a fake rental listing. Don’t relax just yet – there are scams to be aware of before booking that vacation.
Avoid vacations scams by… steering clear of any unsolicited vacation offers, whether by email, post card or phone. Be wary of any offers or discounts that sound too good to be true. And as for finding a rental, stick to making reservations from only reputable websites.
2. Moving Scams
Moving scam con artists use a bait-and-switch tactic in which they quote you an unbelievably low price to move your stuff, then demand more money as they keep your things hostage. In 2015, there were 364 complaints about “hostage” scams, according to the National Consumer Complaint Database.
In another common scam, the scammers will demand a payment upfront and then never show up with a moving truck.
Avoid moving scams by… looking at reviews and determining if this is a legitimate company. Also, get everything in writing to protect yourself from hidden costs – so there are no surprises on moving day. Stay away from “companies” that give you an estimate over the phone, as many legitimate movers don’t make an estimate until reviewing your belongings and assessing size and weight.
3. Concert Scams
Phony sellers get you to wire money or pay with cash for tickets that don’t exist.
Avoid concert scams by… never wiring funds. Anyone who asks you is a scammer. Don’t pay with cash, as there’s no recourse if you do get scammed. And when buying tickets online, make sure you’re only going through a reputable and known ticket vendor.
4. Door-to-Door Sales Scams
The warm weather entices con artists to get out and walk door-to-door, searching for an unwitting victim. Yes, that means scammers can show up at your front door and try to sell you on anything from magazine subscriptions to home repairs.
Avoid door-to-door sales scams by… never agreeing to anything on the spot. Always do your research before making a deal or handing anyone your money or credit card. Also, it’s common sense, but don’t let this person through your door either.
5. Job Scams
Scammers love to prey on job seekers. They entice you with a great job description – no experience necessary! great pay! – and then require a fee for training (which is just a ploy to steal your money).
Avoid job scams by… being aware that if you need to pay anything or provide confidential information to get the job, it’s most definitely a scam. Also, don’t believe anyone who promises you a federal or postal job.
Stay aware to repel these nasty scams just like you would any other summertime pest.