Tips on avoiding vacation scams

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Before booking that relaxing getaway, be sure to do some research. Scammers target tourists looking to rent property and it could turn a dream vacation into a nightmare.

President of the North Central Texas BBB Monica Horton said vacation rip-offs are in the top 10 scams they see and has caused people to lose thousands. The median loss they recorded in 2017 was $1,180 per consumer.

Some places that are advertised may not even exist or may not live up to how they have been promoted.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam:

1. Beware of renters that are difficult to get in contact with, only communicate with you via an email address, or do not have a phone number or mailing address.

2. If they ever ask you to wire money do not do it

3. If you need to pay, use a credit card

4. Check the domain name of a website on whois.icann.org to see who owns it

5. Crooks like to build in a sense of urgency and say that someone else is looking at renting that vacation spot for the same date. Do not let the pressure lead to a hasty purchase

7. Check public records of the location

8. Look at reviews.

For more on organizing a vacation visit the BBB's page on trip planning. To report a scam visit the BBB's scam tracker scam tracker website.

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