Travel Scams

In the digital age, it’s easy to plan and book vacations, flights, and accommodations online. However, scammers have made plans of their own to steal money from unknowing travelers who may fall victim to fake vacation packages, airfare deals that are too good to be true, and other sketchy tactics.

The Anatomy of a Travel Scam

Fake Travel Agencies: Scammers will often pose as fake travel agents who may offer you free vacations or unbeatable travel packages that don’t exist. After you pay, you discover there was never any booking.

Airline Ticket Scams: Scammers offer exclusive discounts, last minute deals, or non-existent airline tickets, requiring you to pay upfront. The victim thinks they’re getting a great deal…until scammers start tacking on hidden fees, or worse, the scammer takes the victim's money providing no tickets.

Rendering of a man holding a plane ticket

"If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Be incredibly skeptical of offers for “free” vacations, especially if they come out of the blue."

Up-close photo of a person holding a cellphone and plane boarding pass, the screen of the phone is not visible

Bogus Hotel Booking Sites: Some websites mimic legitimate hotel booking platforms but charge higher rates, cancel reservations, steal personal information, or take payment without actually booking a reservation.

Free Vacation Hoaxes: Scammers claim you have won a “free” vacation, through unsolicited robocalls, emails, or text messages. These vacation packages may turn into something else - timeshare offers, travel packages or vouchers. These are predatory tactics con artists will use to try and separate you from your money. Even worse, scammers will use these predatory tactics and ask you to verify your information via your credit card numbers, bank account information, your social security number - anything they can phish to try to steal your identity and your money.

Verify the authenticity of booking websites - book on an official website for a hotel or use a reputable third-party booking site. Read reviews, compare prices with other websites and be on the lookout for too-good-to-be-true deals. Call the hotel and confirm your reservation after booking to confirm there are no issues before you travel.


  • Suspiciously low prices, limited contact info, or upfront payments when dealing with travel agencies.

  • Be cautious of websites with altered URLs, too-good-to-be-true deals, or inconsistent communication.

  • Inaccurate or incorrect information about flights and locations when talking to an airline representative.


  • Verify reservations directly with the hotel or provider to ensure legitimacy.

  • Research and book through accredited travel agencies or known reputable websites.

  • Thoroughly check reviews and compare prices to spot potential scams.