If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

That’s the message the FBI is sending this vacation season to assist shoppers keep away from falling sufferer to travel scams.

Brian Gibbs of New Jersey deliberate to go to Hallandale Beach, Florida, final yr when an advert popped up on his laptop for a reduced lodge.

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“I booked the dates, credit card taken, all of that stuff,” Gibbs mentioned. “I call up the hotel and say, ‘I’m here to cancel my reservation that I have for the end of March for the week that I’m there.’ They were like, ‘There’s no reservation with your name on it,’ so I was like ‘Uh oh.'”

Travelers wearing protective masks line up to check in for JetBlue Airways Corp. flights in Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City, March 26, 2021. (Getty Images)

Travelers sporting protecting masks line as much as verify in for JetBlue Airways Corp. flights in Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City, March 26, 2021. (Getty Images)

Gibbs booked the lodge by way of a third-party web site that he says didn’t have a telephone quantity or e-mail listed.

He in the end misplaced out on $1,600.

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This is one situation the FBI warns folks about, particularly with upcoming vacation travel.

“It’s an opportune time for scammers to take advantage of people who have been cooped up for the last two years,” mentioned Assistant Special Agent Ray Johnson with the FBI’s Las Vegas division.

Last yr, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center acquired practically 800,000 reports with greater than $4 billion in losses.

That’s the highest quantity in the final 5 years.

Johnson says on-line procuring elevated considerably during the coronavirus pandemic, and so did the quantity of reported scams.

The FBI recommends that consumers:

  • Be conscious of surprising emails and textual content messages. If the hyperlink seems suspicious, don’t click on on it.
  • Ignore robocalls.
  • Research an organization earlier than reserving with it.
  • Pay with a bank card as an alternative of a debit card or money.

“I think the old adage of, ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” is true, Johnson mentioned.

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Another precaution the FBI recommends is to guide straight with well-known, respected firms moderately than going by way of third events.

Anyone who suspects being scammed can report it to the FBI at www.ic3.gov.