Dr. Oz: Fake Travel Reviews
Dr. Oz talked about how to spot scams when you’re planning your vacation. He talked to travel expert Sarah Spagnolo, who said that more and more people are booking their travel online and scammers are using new technology and new techniques to dupe people.
The first travel scam is the fake review. More people are reading and writing reviews than ever before. A lot of people are using these reviews to make their travel decisions. But a fake review can mislead you and when you arrive, you’ll have an experience you did not expect at all.
Sarah explained that the first thing to look for in a fake review is a bad photograph. Professional photographs will be a sign of a fake review, whereas photos taken with a smartphone might be a sign of a real review. Also check the language of the review. Specific information and details will show you that the review is real. If the review is anonymous, that’s something to be concerned about as well.
Dr. Oz: Hotel WiFi Scams
The next scam is a WiFi scam at hotels. A crook can create a fake hot spot that the guest thinks is free WiFi. When the guest logs on, the crook can look at your information and steal your personal info. They can find your usernames, personal emails, passwords, health records, and/or your banking information. They’ll sit right in the hotel bar or in their room, so their fake hot spot will be strong and fool you into signing on.
When you arrive at the hotel, ask for the exact name of their WiFi and their password. Encrypted sites, like from a hotel, will start with https.
Dr. Oz: Hotel Phone Call Scam
Another scam is the hotel phone call scam. A scammer calls the front desk and asks for your room. You’ll get the phone call in the middle of the night and the scammer will pretend to be the front desk, saying there’s a problem with your credit card. They’ll say you’re welcome to come down to the front desk or you can give the card number over the phone. Most people don’t want to get out of bed, so they’ll give their info to the crook.
You should always hang up and call the front desk back to be safe. You should also go to the front desk if you’re dealing with payment. A hotel will rarely actually call you in the middle of the night. They’ll save that for emergencies.
Dr. Oz: Hidden Hotel Fees
Sarah said there are plenty of hidden hotel fees as well. You might not see them until you get to the final booking screen. You might see a price for $170 for booking two nights at a hotel, but when you get to the final screen, you might see $5 for a processing fee, $35 for a cleaning fee, and $40 for a “resort fee”. These extra fees can add up to $100 onto your bill.
If you’re using an online travel site, open up a window from the hotel company themselves. Find the place on both sites where you’ll actually be putting in your credit card info to see what the real price is for both. If you’re concerned, call the hotel itself and ask them about their reservations. Ask them if there are any perks for booking from the hotel directly.