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Monday, November 29, 2021

FBI: Watch out for journey scams throughout the holidays

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If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

That is the message the FBI is sending this holiday season to assist customers keep away from falling sufferer to journey scams.

Brian Gibbs of New Jersey deliberate to go to Hallandale Seashore, Florida, final yr when an advert popped up on his pc for a reduced lodge.

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“I booked the dates, bank card taken, all of that stuff,” Gibbs mentioned. “I name up the lodge and say, ‘I’m right here to cancel my reservation that I’ve for the top of March for the week that I am there.’ They had been like, ‘There’s no reservation together with your identify on it,’ so I used to be like ‘Uh oh.'”

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Vacationers sporting protecting masks line as much as test in for JetBlue Airways Corp. flights in Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) in New York Metropolis, March 26, 2021. (Getty Pictures)

Gibbs booked the lodge by means of a third-party web site that he says didn’t have a cellphone quantity or electronic mail listed.

He in the end misplaced out on $1,600.

RECORD $4.2 BILLION STOLEN THROUGH ONLINE SCAMS IN 2020: REPORT

That is one state of affairs the FBI warns individuals about, particularly with upcoming vacation journey.

“It’s an opportune time for scammers to reap the benefits of individuals who have been cooped up for the final two years,” mentioned Assistant Particular Agent Ray Johnson with the FBI’s Las Vegas division.

Final yr, the FBI’s Web Crime Criticism Heart acquired practically 800,000 reports with greater than $4 billion in losses.

That is the very best quantity within the final 5 years.

Johnson says on-line purchasing elevated considerably throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and so did the variety of reported scams.

The FBI recommends that consumers:

  • Concentrate on sudden emails and textual content messages. If the hyperlink seems suspicious, don’t click on on it.
  • Ignore robocalls.
  • Analysis an organization earlier than reserving with it.
  • Pay with a bank card as a substitute of a debit card or money.

“I feel the {old} adage of, ‘If it appears too good to be true, it most likely is,” is true, Johnson mentioned.

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One other precaution the FBI recommends is to e book immediately with well-known, respected corporations quite than going by means of third events.

Anybody who suspects being scammed can report it to the FBI at www.ic3.gov.



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