The ads are enticing and the websites look legit. Where to look for the red flags.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Are you looking for a last-minute getaway? One of the most common things to do is to Google, “last-minute deals”.
“Google doesn’t always take them to the right place. And there are also misleading ads that are on social media,” said Yoav Keren, Brandshield co-founder and CEO.
Maybe you’ve seen it on Instagram or Facebook, some kind of ad that says they have rooms for half off or flights for cheap.
“You might be directed to a bogus site where scammers are trying to phish you and take your credentials and they’re not selling you a real vacation,” said Keren.
When you see those ads, Keren says you need to take another step.
“If the deal is real, it will be on the main site for the company. So don’t click the link in the ad, instead go to the company that is providing the trip, house, etc., and make sure the deal is real,” said Keren.
These scam websites are getting better and better, for the scammers that is! Take a look at the three sites in this story. They all look legit, but they’re all fake. They appear to be Delta, Jet Blue, and AirB&B.
“When you’re going to a website, look at the domain name, the URL, and make sure it doesn’t have typos.
The real Delta site for example is delta.com
But the fake website’s address is similar enough that you might not catch it: delta-aairlines.org
Keren warns, that in many of these cases, you can’t get your money back, especially since some of these sites ask for you to wire money or use Venmo, Cash App, or Zelle. Those P2P cash apps don’t work like a credit card or bank. Once the money is gone, it’s gone.
A good rule of thumb is to always use a credit card. This way, you can call the credit card company and get the charges reversed. When you use a debit card, the money comes out of your bank account and may be harder to get back.