Summer Scams To Avoid

July 12, 2018

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Summer may be the season to relax thieves are in full swing is attempting to rip you off.  So here are some very common summertime scams you can avoid because we're going to point them out! While we are always looking for a bargain, especially when planning a vacation, beware of the vacation rental that requires you to wire an advance payment. The scammer usually start with a real listing, replace the correct contact information with theirs and posting on a different site (such as Craigslist). They usually offer an incredibly low price because you are required to pay for it upfront or with a sizeable advance using a wire transfer, money order or reloadable cash card. The result is the scammer has your cash and you have no vacation! Such a common scam that the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning about it.  Instead stick with dedicated third-party rental site that provides protection, such as Airbnb, Expedia, Orbitz and HomeAway. Plus a check with the Bette Business Bureau ahead of time is suggested.  The same with hotel reservations. While more commonly known third-party sites, like Expedia, and Priceline, scammers create fake ones and easily get your credit card numbers. Play it safe and stay off of third-party sites that seem to make offers too good to be true. Booking though the hotel's web site is the safer option. If a contractor stops by your house unexpectedly and says he just happens to be repaving a driveway nearby and has leftover material. He offers to repave your driveway for a really low price, most likely it is a scam. Summer brings a spike in the number of unscrupulous contractors going door to door trying to sell such services. Beware of anyone offering to do a repair unsolicited. When looking for a contractor, get referrals from family, friends, and others. And before agreeing to work with one, verify that the contractor has complied with the licensing and registration required by Florida. If you are moving, be cautious of a moving company that can transport your belongings without charging hefty fees. While they may show up and pack your house, they never made the delivery or will only deliver after you pay them more money! If you’re moving out of state, verify that the moving company has a valid Department of Transportation number and a carrier number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The best way to avoid scams like these is to make sure you check out the company or the individuals you plan to work with before agreeing to do business You can do this by searching on the web for the company, including such words as "review," "complaints," and "scam."

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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