Don't let scammers ruin your summer vacation! - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Don't let scammers ruin your summer vacation!

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TYLER (KYTX) -  Summer is the perfect time for getaways -- but while you're out enjoying your vacation, you need to be watching out for scams!

Summertime may be full of fun in the sun, and time with the family, but your relaxing summer vacation is a perfect target for people trying to steal your money or even worse, your identity.

"They hit the hot spots. In the summertime that's the beaches where I was just at," says Billy Williams, who owns Tyler company Texas Travelers.

"We do motor coach tours all over the United States for mostly senior citizens," he says. 

Williams stays in a whole lot of hotels and is very familiar with a scammer's bag of tricks.

"They're calling people's rooms wanting additional credit card information," he says about a scam getting very popular. It's called the "front desk scam," meaning someone calls your hotel room late at night pretending to be the front desk of the hotel you're staying in.

"Typically there's a block of numbers that belongs to a hotel and they'll dial each number and hopefully somebody really groggy will pick up and give them their account information and make a whole bunch of charges by morning," says Michele Mills with the Better Business Bureau of Smith County.

Mills warned local hotels about the scam, but says lots of them already know.

Williams says, "The last one I was in they had a big notice posted that they do not call your room for any additional credit card information. If someone calls your room, hang up and call the front desk."

Then there's the fake wifi scam.

"There are these little devices and they're calling them 'pineapples'" Mills says.

These devices spoof a wifi, making their network look like the hotel network.

"Anything that has a password, you want to make sure you don't do that on a Wifi hotspot, because it may not be who you think it is, and then they have access to all that information," Mills says.

"I always ask, what is your Wifi setting? Is it a secure Wifi? Do you have a password to get in?" Williams says.  Being extra cautious can save your vacation, and keep you protected.

Another really popular summertime scam hits while you're booking your trip - people pretending they're offering vacation homes for rent, asking you to wire them a deposit.

Mills says wiring money is always a red flag. She says to always do your homework. Don't do business with anyone you haven't researched.

That issue doesn't just go for vacation rentals. Any rental property is subject to scammers pretending to be real estate agents. Just because a posting looks legitimate, doesn't mean it is. 

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