As COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available, Americans are beginning to travel and participate in the economy on a larger scale. This has opened many people up to scams, especially in the travel and funeral industries.
The Better Business Bureau works to limit the amount of people who fall victim to these scams by warning consumers. Cleveland Better Business Bureau President Sue McConnell joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to warn listeners about some current scams.
Scamming travelers renting vehicles
As more Americans become fully vaccinated, the travel industry is picking up, as people feel safe to travel to visit friends and family or go on a vacation. McConnell warned that scammers are taking advantage of the increased travel volume.
She pointed out one middleman scheme, which allows someone to spoof their number as a car rental number. They then name a ridiculously high price for the rental car and pocket the difference when they drop the vehicle off. In other instances, scammers are just pocketing the entire sum.
Airline booking scams
In similar fashion, McConnell said scammers are acting as flight booking agencies. They act like they will secure your plane tickets, take your money and then never contact you again. She said the scammers will even go as far as to send a fake confirmation letter.
These types of scams can occur anywhere when planning a vacation. Since people are trying to find the lowest price possible, they are more likely to use risky sites, which otherwise should not be trusted.
Funeral expense scams
Finally, McConnell warned listeners about COVID-19 funeral expense scams. FEMA is offering funding for those who have lost loved ones and are struggling to pay for the funeral. McConnell said scammers are preying on people and calling them asking for account information.
In similar fashion, the IRS will not reach out to you about account information over the phone. The best way to prevent being scammed by IRS imposters is to file your taxes as early as possible.