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Planning a summer vacation? You may be looking for deals on cheap flights or discounts at hotels and resorts – but some promotions may come with strings attached, and others can be downright scams. Before you pack your bags, keep these travel tips in mind.

  • Avoid “free” trips that require you to pay. A company that offers you a free vacation – but then pressures you to buy extras or add-ons, or to verify your identity with a credit card number – is probably trying to scam you.
  • Say no to robocalls. If you get a cold call trying to sell you something, ignore it. Robocalls are usually illegal. If you get an unwanted call, report it to the FTC. Also, avoid offers that come through text or an unexpected email.
  • Know the cancellation policies. Ask about the refund policies for flight reservations, car rentals, and rental properties, and get them in writing.
  • Pay by credit card. When it’s time to buy, paying by credit card gives you more protection than paying with a debit card, cash or check. There are laws to protect you if your credit card information is lost or stolen. And, in case you don’t get what you paid for, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company.

For more information, visit ftc.gov/travelscams. And if you’ve spotted a travel scam, report it to the FTC.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.