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Tips For a Scam-Free Summer Vacation

Planning a summer getaway should be an exciting process. Unfortunately, scammers see vacation planning as an opportunity to steal other people’s money and sensitive information. From the planning process to the vacation itself, we’ve collected tips from the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau to help you outsmart scammers this summer.

  • “Free” vacations: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you receive an unsolicited email, phone call, text, or pop-up ad promising a free or deeply discounted vacation, be wary. By responding, you’ll discover hidden fees or taxes – meaning your free vacation isn’t really free.
  • Robocalls about vacations: If you receive a robocall claiming you’re eligible for a discounted vacation deal, you may be dealing with a lawbreaker. Without written permission from you, companies are not allowed to call you in this way. You’re advised to hang up and report the robocall to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Vacation home scams: Be very careful when booking a vacation home online! Scammers have been found to steal real rental photos and details, then relist them as their own. If you “book a trip” with such a scammer, you’ll likely find the property already rented out when you arrive, leaving you without your money and with no place to stay. Be sure to thoroughly research the rental home (and its rental company, if applicable) before you send any money.
  • Third-party booking sites: Use extra caution when booking your travel and lodging through a third-party site. Some may charge you unexpected fees; others may be entirely fraudulent and attempt to steal your personal information. It’s a good practice to do some extra research: try entering the name of the site, plus the word “scam,” into a search engine. If it’s a scam, there’s a good chance that other people are talking about it online too.
  • Hotel scams: Scammers have a few techniques of conning you once you’re at your hotel. You might receive a late-night call from someone pretending to be at the front desk asking you to share your credit card information. Other fraudsters set up unsecure Wi-Fi connections that are “free,” but meant to steal your data. Scammers even distribute fake food menus to hotel rooms, hoping you’ll call in an “order” and share your credit card number.

First International Bank & Trust highly encourages you to let us know when you’ll be traveling out-of-state or country. By letting us know of your travel plans, the use of your FIBT debit, ATM, or credit cards will remain seamless. Just follow this link to submit a travel notification to our team.

And of course, we encourage you to visit the Education Center at for even more tips on keeping your finances safe and secure.

Personal Banking, Security