BBB shares travel scams, tips ahead of Memorial Day


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Summer is rapidly approaching and many people are planning to take a vacation, but beware – scammers are making plans too.

The Better Business Bureau wants you to be wary of false promises and a sense of urgency that can fool you into paying for something that doesn’t exist.

There are five common scams to avoid, the BBB says.

1. Vacation Rental Con:

Watch out for listings for properties that either aren’t for rent, don’t exist, or are significantly different than pictured. These con artists lure in vacationers with the promise of low fees and great amenities. The “owner” creates a false sense of urgency – such as telling potential clients that another vacationer is interested in the rental – to get payment up before doing sufficient research or questioning the legitimacy of the ad. The BBB warns you to talk with the owner by phone and check public records before paying for any type of rental property.

2. “Free” Vacation Scams:

When a cruise or travel company advertises a vacation as “free,” it does not necessarily mean the trip is entirely without cost or restrictions. Watch out for add-on fees for air transportation to the port, port charges, taxes, tips, and other undisclosed fees.

3. Hotel Scams:

When staying in a hotel, beware of techniques used to get ahold of credit card information, such as fake calls from the front desk, free wi-fi skimming, and fake food delivery. Scammers count on travelers – tourists and business people alike — being tired or in a hurry. Pay close attention and watch out for these tricks:

4. Third Party Booking Site Scams:

If you book your airfare, hotel or other travel through a third-party website, be sure to use caution. In the most common scam, the BBB says travelers pay with a credit card. Shortly after making the payment, receive a call from the company asking to verify the name, address, banking information, or other personal details – something a legitimate company would never do. 

5. Timeshare Reselling Cons:

Scammers may claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase. To secure this service, the scammer pressures the target into paying an upfront fee. The timeshare owner pays up, but the reselling agent never delivers.

Here are four tips for avoiding scams:

  • Look for reviews and ask for references. While vetting hotels, travel companies, vacation rentals, and more, check BBB.org for reviews and complaints. Look for photos and a variety of reviews. If the property or company doesn’t have any online reviews, ask for references and call them.
  • Avoid wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. These payments are the same as sending cash. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get it back. Paying with a credit card the charges can be disputed and dramatically limit liability from a fraudulent purchase.
  • A great deal probably isn’t the truth. Scammers lure in targets by guaranteeing an amazing trip at a very low price. Research it first. If the hotel, travel, or tour is much cheaper than similar options, be suspicious.
  • Do some snooping. Check the website for links to the company’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. If they do have social media accounts, check their activity and see if any other users have left reviews or voiced complaints. Also, look for typos and pixelated images. These mistakes are signs of a scammer, not a company that cares about its online presence.

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Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.



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MnDOT shares travel tips ahead of busy holiday weekend


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Memorial Day weekend is upon us and that means a lot more people will be on the road traveling the next couple days.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is sharing some tips on how to stay safe during a busy travel weekend.

For many, Memorial weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and that means a lot more people on the roads this weekend, including people hauling boats and campers.

Traffic on Highway 52
Traffic on Highway 52(KTTC)

AAA anticipates 39.2 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend.

That’s an increase of 8.3 percent over last year and brings travel volumes near those in 2017.

MnDOT wants to remind drivers to remain attentive and cautious, to give more space to those towing, and to put the distractions away.

If you are towing anything over the weekend, MnDOT says to make sure everything is secured.

“You know, you chart your path before you go, it’s good to check all the safety chains, you’re secure,” MnDOT District 6 Spokesman Mike Dougherty said. “If you have anything in the boat, is it all secured? All those things that just make sure that not only is your property taken care of but if it’s not, that can create a hazard and perhaps a tragedy for some other motorists if it comes loose.”

Even if you don’t see any workers in construction zones this week, MnDOT wants to remind drivers to still be careful in work zones.

If you are planning to travel at all this weekend, you can use the 511 map to see if there is any construction or detours on your route.

Copyright 2022 KTTC. All rights reserved.



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Travel is booming ahead of summer, but it’s more expensive


As the calendar moves toward Memorial Day — the unofficial start of summer — AAA is predicting a 25% increase in air travel this year compared to last.

Manuela Mocan, a travel advisor at World Wide Travel of Cornwall, knows how travelers can save some money on their next family trip.

While many people stopped traveling during the pandemic, Mocan said that’s changing.

“The pent-up demand that we’ve seen over the past two years with the lifting of restrictions at many destinations, travel simply exploded,” Mocan said. “People cannot wait to get out of the house and travel.”

People in the travel industry call it revenge travel.

“Throughout the pandemic, the only little bit of travel we’ve seen was domestic, very little international,” Mocan said. “Now, all of a sudden, everyone is ready to go back to Europe.”

Business is booming again at Worldwide Travel.

AAA predicts over 39 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, an eight percent increase from last year.

Whenever there is a long weekend, people like to use the days off and build around it. But if you’re traveling on busy holiday weekends, you can also expect to find higher prices on flights and hotels.

Mocan, who has 20 years of experience in the industry, said there are some ways to save money.

“Do a little bit of preparation,” Mocan said. “You want to stay away from the peak season. If you can travel in the shoulder season, always better prices. If you tend to travel Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, the prices tend to be a little less.”

Mocan said prices for flights have also increased over the last year.

“Oh my gosh, there’s no comparison,” Mocan said. “Last summer, it was such a good time to travel everywhere because you got some really, really good deals, both on hotels and on your airfare. Right now, if you look for July, airfare going to Mexico or Jamaica, $1,100 for tickets. It’s really, really expensive.”

She also suggest buying travel insurance in case of emergency and checking the COVID-19 requirements for your destination.

If you’re hitting the road this summer, the gas prices might leave you with a little sticker shock.

“It’s more expensive than in France,” said Guillaume Pareau, who traveled to the U.S. from France.

It’s been his dream to road trip throughout the United States.

“I’ve seen a lot of American movies, American soap and horror, and I like this country,” he said.

So these high gas prices, aren’t stopping him?

“No, no, no. It’s OK,” he said.

Whether you’re traveling somewhere near or far, Mocan said everyone should take some time off and get away.

“For me, I think this is what traveling means first and foremost, making memories with my family,” Mocan said.



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“There’s no shortcut to packing smart” TSA gives travel tips ahead of Summer travel season


RAPID CITY, S.D. — The summer travel season is approaching.

While Your summer travel plans may be taking off, but members of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) say you’ve got things to plan for before you’re in the air.

According to TSA, it takes around five minutes to get through one of their checkpoints, but they say that time can increase dramatically if even one person doesn’t do the necessary research as to what you can bring.

So what can you bring?

Liquids or items like toothpaste in your carry-on bags must be below three point four ounces, but larger containers are allowed in checked bags.

Items deemed medical necessary liquids like saline solution, breast milk and even baby food are allowed on carry-ons.

 “You just needed to tell the agent when you’re going through the line that you have something that is bigger than that, because it will be screened separately and differently,” said Jessica Mayle, the TSA Regional Spokesperson.

TSA recommends starting with a empty bag and going from there with the main reason being that you might have forgotten to take something out from a previous trip.

While displaying a table full of items, Mayle gave a visual representation of what TSA has been seeing just in the Rapid City Regional Airport.

Tsa Travel Tips 10

“These have all been collected at the checkpoint over the last few months, so not a very long period. This kind of gives you an idea of how many of these types of prohibited items we are seeing at the checkpoint.” Mayle said.

One final message from TSA is to give yourself ample time for everything that comes with your travel.

“Don’t just think about going through TSA, but (also) parking your car, checking your bags, you know the whole every step, you know, it’s two minutes here, eight minutes here. It kind of adds up, so give yourself plenty of time,” Mayle said.

For a more complete list of what you can bring, click here. By clicking the link, you can search anything you’re looking to bring to see if its allowed.





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BBB shares travel scams, tips ahead of Memorial Day


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Summer is rapidly approaching and many people are planning to take a vacation, but beware – scammers are making plans too.

The Better Business Bureau wants you to be wary of false promises and a sense of urgency that can fool you into paying for something that doesn’t exist.

There are five common scams to avoid, the BBB says.

1. Vacation Rental Con:

Watch out for listings for properties that either aren’t for rent, don’t exist, or are significantly different than pictured. These con artists lure in vacationers with the promise of low fees and great amenities. The “owner” creates a false sense of urgency – such as telling potential clients that another vacationer is interested in the rental – to get payment up before doing sufficient research or questioning the legitimacy of the ad. The BBB warns you to talk with the owner by phone and check public records before paying for any type of rental property.

2. “Free” Vacation Scams:

When a cruise or travel company advertises a vacation as “free,” it does not necessarily mean the trip is entirely without cost or restrictions. Watch out for add-on fees for air transportation to the port, port charges, taxes, tips, and other undisclosed fees.

3. Hotel Scams:

When staying in a hotel, beware of techniques used to get ahold of credit card information, such as fake calls from the front desk, free wi-fi skimming, and fake food delivery. Scammers count on travelers – tourists and business people alike — being tired or in a hurry. Pay close attention and watch out for these tricks:

4. Third Party Booking Site Scams:

If you book your airfare, hotel or other travel through a third-party website, be sure to use caution. In the most common scam, the BBB says travelers pay with a credit card. Shortly after making the payment, receive a call from the company asking to verify the name, address, banking information, or other personal details – something a legitimate company would never do. 

5. Timeshare Reselling Cons:

Scammers may claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase. To secure this service, the scammer pressures the target into paying an upfront fee. The timeshare owner pays up, but the reselling agent never delivers.

Here are four tips for avoiding scams:

  • Look for reviews and ask for references. While vetting hotels, travel companies, vacation rentals, and more, check BBB.org for reviews and complaints. Look for photos and a variety of reviews. If the property or company doesn’t have any online reviews, ask for references and call them.
  • Avoid wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. These payments are the same as sending cash. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get it back. Paying with a credit card the charges can be disputed and dramatically limit liability from a fraudulent purchase.
  • A great deal probably isn’t the truth. Scammers lure in targets by guaranteeing an amazing trip at a very low price. Research it first. If the hotel, travel, or tour is much cheaper than similar options, be suspicious.
  • Do some snooping. Check the website for links to the company’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. If they do have social media accounts, check their activity and see if any other users have left reviews or voiced complaints. Also, look for typos and pixelated images. These mistakes are signs of a scammer, not a company that cares about its online presence.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.



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BBB shares travel scams, tips ahead of Memorial Day


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Summer is rapidly approaching and many people are planning to take a vacation, but beware – scammers are making plans too.

The Better Business Bureau wants you to be wary of false promises and a sense of urgency that can fool you into paying for something that doesn’t exist.

There are five common scams to avoid, the BBB says.

1. Vacation Rental Con:

Watch out for listings for properties that either aren’t for rent, don’t exist, or are significantly different than pictured. These con artists lure in vacationers with the promise of low fees and great amenities. The “owner” creates a false sense of urgency – such as telling potential clients that another vacationer is interested in the rental – to get payment up before doing sufficient research or questioning the legitimacy of the ad. The BBB warns you to talk with the owner by phone and check public records before paying for any type of rental property.

2. “Free” Vacation Scams:

When a cruise or travel company advertises a vacation as “free,” it does not necessarily mean the trip is entirely without cost or restrictions. Watch out for add-on fees for air transportation to the port, port charges, taxes, tips, and other undisclosed fees.

3. Hotel Scams:

When staying in a hotel, beware of techniques used to get ahold of credit card information, such as fake calls from the front desk, free wi-fi skimming, and fake food delivery. Scammers count on travelers – tourists and business people alike — being tired or in a hurry. Pay close attention and watch out for these tricks:

4. Third Party Booking Site Scams:

If you book your airfare, hotel or other travel through a third-party website, be sure to use caution. In the most common scam, the BBB says travelers pay with a credit card. Shortly after making the payment, receive a call from the company asking to verify the name, address, banking information, or other personal details – something a legitimate company would never do. 

5. Timeshare Reselling Cons:

Scammers may claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase. To secure this service, the scammer pressures the target into paying an upfront fee. The timeshare owner pays up, but the reselling agent never delivers.

Here are four tips for avoiding scams:

  • Look for reviews and ask for references. While vetting hotels, travel companies, vacation rentals, and more, check BBB.org for reviews and complaints. Look for photos and a variety of reviews. If the property or company doesn’t have any online reviews, ask for references and call them.
  • Avoid wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. These payments are the same as sending cash. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get it back. Paying with a credit card the charges can be disputed and dramatically limit liability from a fraudulent purchase.
  • A great deal probably isn’t the truth. Scammers lure in targets by guaranteeing an amazing trip at a very low price. Research it first. If the hotel, travel, or tour is much cheaper than similar options, be suspicious.
  • Do some snooping. Check the website for links to the company’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. If they do have social media accounts, check their activity and see if any other users have left reviews or voiced complaints. Also, look for typos and pixelated images. These mistakes are signs of a scammer, not a company that cares about its online presence.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.



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Florida gas prices drop slightly ahead of busy Memorial Day travel


ORLANDO, Fla. – After days of setting new records, Florida gas prices have taken a dip.

The average price per gallon in Florida is $4.48, down 3 cents from the state’s record-breaking price of $4.51 per gallon.

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This decline comes ahead of an anticipated busy weekend for Memorial Day travel.

“Even though pump prices have moved slightly lower, gas prices on Memorial Day are still forecast to be the holiday’s most expensive yet,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a news release. “A combination of tightening global supplies and strengthening demand are the main culprits behind this unprecedented pain at the pump. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a quick end in sight. Gas prices are likely to continue fluctuating throughout the summer and remain well above year-ago levels.”

Ad

Before this year, the previous record high in Florida was in 2008 at $3.93 per gallon. Floridians paid an average of $2.86 per gallon last year for Memorial Day travel.

AAA is estimating 90% of holiday travelers to drive to their destination this year.

Ways to save on gasoline

  • Combine errands to limit driving time.

  • Shop around for the best gas prices in your community.

  • Consider paying cash. Some retailers charge extra per gallon for customers who pay with a credit card.

  • Remove excess weight in your vehicle.

  • Drive conservatively. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduces fuel economy.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.



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TSA shortage ahead of holiday travel at Austin airport


AUSTIN, Texas — It’s almost Memorial Day weekend and travelers are already preparing, arriving at the airport hours early as suggested by officials at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. 

Paul Martin, an Austinite, arrived six hours before his flight. ABIA does not allow a traveler to check in luggage until four hours before their departure time. 

“Four hours before your flight,” Martin said. “I have about six hours.”

He won’t have to wait long once he gets to the TSA lines, but that wasn’t the case on Tuesday when people missed their flights and lines were out the door. 

ABIA is recommending passengers get to the airport three hours before their departure time, following a power outage at ticket counters earlier this week and a shortage of TSA staff. 

“I had heard that it had been pretty bad. So far, I’m pleased at the moment,” Martin said. 

Representative Lloyd Doggett sent a letter to TSA officials calling the situation “unacceptable” and asking for more staff ahead of an expected record breaking number of travelers for Memorial Day weekend coming through ABIA. 

Rep. Doggett outlined in his letter, travel is expected to increase by 50% and 36,000 passengers are expected to fly through ABIA over the course of the weekend. 

Mike Coughlin, another traveler through ABIA, says he didn’t encounter any issues getting through security just one week before holiday travel was set to begin. 

“It seemed like a normal trip to the airport on a Friday morning,” Coughlin said. “I don’t know what a normal Austin Friday morning is like. As far as any major city I’m used to, it was normal getting here.” 





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TSA shortage ahead of holiday travel at Austin airport


AUSTIN, Texas — It’s almost Memorial Day weekend and travelers are already preparing, arriving at the airport hours early as suggested by officials at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. 

Paul Martin, an Austinite, arrived six hours before his flight. ABIA does not allow a traveler to check in luggage until four hours before their departure time. 

“Four hours before your flight,” Martin said. “I have about six hours.”

He won’t have to wait long once he gets to the TSA lines, but that wasn’t the case on Tuesday when people missed their flights and lines were out the door. 

ABIA is recommending passengers get to the airport three hours before their departure time, following a power outage at ticket counters earlier this week and a shortage of TSA staff. 

“I had heard that it had been pretty bad. So far, I’m pleased at the moment,” Martin said. 

Representative Lloyd Doggett sent a letter to TSA officials calling the situation “unacceptable” and asking for more staff ahead of an expected record breaking number of travelers for Memorial Day weekend coming through ABIA. 

Rep. Doggett outlined in his letter, travel is expected to increase by 50% and 36,000 passengers are expected to fly through ABIA over the course of the weekend. 

Mike Coughlin, another traveler through ABIA, says he didn’t encounter any issues getting through security just one week before holiday travel was set to begin. 

“It seemed like a normal trip to the airport on a Friday morning,” Coughlin said. “I don’t know what a normal Austin Friday morning is like. As far as any major city I’m used to, it was normal getting here.” 





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