Lots of people are itchin' to get out of town and take a vacation. After a really looong year it makes sense that people are at their computers looking for their next trip to book. However, before you do that make sure you aren't being duped into paying more than you should... or not getting what you paid for.

The Better Business Bureau says they've already been receiving reports of scam from people. Scams include fake customer service numbers and fake airline booking sites. It's been going in one of two ways:

  1. While researching you come across what seems like a great deal and you book your tickets, via website or number, and there won't be an actual ticket in your "confirmation" e-mail.
  2. You book and pay for your flight on a travel website and then they call back saying there has been a price hike and you owe more money. A legit company will never do One person told the BBB,

I received a phone call right after [I booked the flight] stating that they wanted $100 per passenger to finalize my flight." Then, after calling the airline to complain, the victim discovered that "the flight wasnt available to begin with. The flight was never booked... this company just charged my card."

In either case the airline doesn't have an actual booking of your flight because it was purchased from a scam website.

So, the big question is how do I avoid becoming a victim? The BBB offers up these tips:

  • Do your research - this is important with anything you plan on purchasing online. Always check to make sure the company is legit.
  • Double check the URL before submitting payment - secure links start with https://
  • Double check third-party websites - some may seem legit but are actually a front for
  • Make online purchases with a credit card - if you do unfortunately find yourself in a situation where you've been scammed, it's easier to dispute fraud and get your money back when it's on a credit card.

I know the weather is getting warmer and you're excited to book that vacation you've been anxiously waiting to take, but before you get TOO excited and hit the "buy" button, follow these tips so you can have a hassle-free trip.

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Check the BBB's website for more travel scams to watch out for.

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