WSIL -- With the colder weather that is in our forecast, many people will be looking forward to taking a vacation for spring break. Before you book your trip, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to warn you to be wary of travel deals that seem too good to be true.
Nationally, the BBB received more than 5,000 complaints in 2018 concerning travel agencies and services. In most of these cases, consumers reported that they were misled by travel offers that failed to deliver as promised. In other cases, consumers registered complaints about paying for travel arrangements that were never made. Many online sites offer deals on travel. Some are legitimate, while others may be scams.
Here are some BBB tips to avoid disappointment with travel deals:
Spring break is also when scammers pull the so-called "grandparent scam" with so many students on the move.
"This scam tends to pop-up in the spring, when students travel away from home, and family members tend to worry about their general safety," said Michelle Corey, BBB St. Louis president and CEO. "Scammers will call family members and pretend to be a child, grandchild or a friend of the child who has run into a difficult situation while traveling. The scammer may claim to have been arrested, mugged or hospitalized and make urgent pleas for money."
Receiving a frantic phone call may scare people into letting their guard down, but BBB encourages everyone to make sure they know signs of this scam. If you get such a call, resist any request to send money immediately. Ask for a phone number to contact the person back, then check with other relatives to determine the whereabouts of the person who is allegedly stranded. A request for you to send money by Western Union, MoneyGram or a prepaid card.
Here are some BBB tips to avoid the grandparent scam: