With travel season fast approaching, it pays to stay alert against potential scams that can threaten your financial well-being.

Whether it’s a last-minute spring break vacation or weekend road trip, you might be tempted to jump on an offer for a great deal. Unfortunately, scammers tend to lurk behind those offers. What’s their goal? To try to steal your money.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, here’s how it could play out:

You might get an email for a travel package at a “low, low price” — but the organizer won’t give you specifics, such as where you’d be staying. Or you might get a call out of the blue about a “free” vacation that can be available to you after paying a few fees. Always remember, if something sounds too good to be true… it probably is. Not only could your dream vacation turn into a nightmare, but if you pay, it may be difficult to get your money back.

Here are some tips on how to avoid travel scams:

  • Research before booking. Always research travel deals and companies before making any reservations. Check reviews and verify the legitimacy of the website.
  • Be wary of unsolicited offers. If you receive an unexpected email, phone call, or text message offering an incredible travel deal, be cautious. Scammers often use high-pressure tactics or enticing limited-time deals to rush you into making impulsive decisions.
  • Don’t sign or pay until you have specific details. Ask for the exact address of the hotel or resort so you can research it independently. Also, be sure to get copies of the cancellation and return policies before you sign or pay.
  • Don’t pay with wire transfer, gift cards, or cryptocurrency. Dishonest travel package promoters will ask you to pay in one of these ways, but that’s a sure sign of a scam. Legitimate travel offers should never ask for you to pay in this way.
  • Use secure payment methods, such as credit cards or trusted payment platforms.
  • If you suspect fraudulent activity related to your CEFCU accounts, contact CEFCU at 1.800.542.3328.

Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov. To learn more about various types of scams, visit cefcu.com/security.

Safe travels!