ANDY GREEN EE261107_AG05_2

Traveling requires a lot of preparation and preparation requires a lot of research. As a traveler you have to be agile enough to steer clear of unscrupulous travel agents and pickpockets.

If you’re planning another trip then here are two travel scams that you definitely must avoid.

1. Unexpected phone calls to your hotel room from the front desk or concierge

You receive calls at odd hours like at midnight when you are not that alert. The caller says that he is calling from the front desk.
He tells you that the front desk computer has crashed and all your credit card information has been deleted. As a result there has been an error processing the card number you gave to cover incidentals. The caller then asks you to double check the last four digits of your credit card.

The numbers he says are incorrect, naturally and so you are asked to repeat all the 16 digits of your credit card and spell your name.
This way the caller gets all your information and uses it for shopping to his heart’s content.

This scam is never an inside job. The conman usually sets up a direct call to your room so the call is not directed through the hotel’s switch board. In order to avoid getting conned through this you could take some precautions.

  1. Whenever you receive a call like this where the caller is asking for your personal information, chances are he/she doesn’t know your name. The first thing would be to ask who he wants to speak to.
  2. You could suggest that you will sort out the issue in person at the front desk. You could cross check by calling the front desk yourself on the number provided by the hotel rather than that provided by the caller. It could be fake.
  3. Lastly, you should always keep in mind to not share any personal information over the phone.

2. A shady Wi-Fi hot spot

This crime is more common when you are traveling because you are in a hurry to connect to the internet. If you are in a public place and you see a free Wi-Fi hotspot available then no matter what the urgency is, try not to connect to it. The reason for this is that the scammer creates a free Wi-Fi hotspot with a luring name and then waits for you to connect.

As soon as you connect, any transmitted data is intercepted and may later be used to commit identity fraud.

The scammer may also get hold of the used id and password you’ve just entered on the site of an e-tailer or your financial institution.

To avoid getting cheated through this you must

  • Never connect to a phony Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Get an internet subscription for your tablet or smart phone before your journey starts.