Ohio AG: Beware these 4 travel scams

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 19:46:46-04

Does this early spring weather get you itching for a beach getaway?    

Before you get online to look for a deal, Ohio's Attorney General is warning about some springtime travel scams you need to watch out for.

Just speak to people who take an annual vacation, and you'll find many people have bad memories of a travel rip-off, or vacations that are nothing like what's promised.

"The ship was really old, and bad," one downtown worker told us.

Another who booked a discount cruise said "they told us that some of the ports would be open, and they actually weren't, and we knew it but they weren't truthful with us."

Mail, Fax, Calls, and now Facebook

Until recently, fax machines and us mail were the scammers best friend, to pitch discount travel deals that aren't what they claim.

But now they are turning to social media, with ads and Facebook postings to make you think that everyone is getting these deals.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine came to 9 On Your Side's studio to warn about the top travel scams in 2016.  This comes after 400 travel-related complaints to his office in 2015.

The top ripoffs, according to DeWine:

          -2 free airline tickets that are not free.

"You get a postcard that says you've won free airline tickets, or you've won something else. And then once you've looked into it there's always a catch," DeWine said, such as hundreds of dollars in fees.

          -Free promotional hotel stays that come with high pressure to buy a timeshare.

"What they don't tell you is that when you do this you have to listen to their presentation, and be pressured to buy a timeshare on the spot. You are outgunned, frankly. These guys do this every single day."

          -Discount travel clubs with no available dates where you can travel.

"A travel club can be a couple of thousand dollars, and you see all these brochures and things you'll get to do, and the reality is much different than what they purported it to be."

That offer for a 3 night Mexican vacation for 300 bucks? Probably not.

Finally, watch for:

          -Low-priced vacation home ads on Craigslist and other sites, where the owner wants you to wire him a deposit via Western Union or similar service.

Many of those ads are scams, posted by people who copy a legitimate rental ad.  So make sure you are dealing with the real owner, so you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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