It’s that time of the year again! Students are making plans for Spring Break and that means booking the perfect place to stay, but only if it exists!

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) vacationers should be aware of a common scam involving fabricated Airbnb-style rental listings. Scammers are notorious for contacting potential marks via telephone or online ads, in which they lure their victims into paying upfront by means of wire transfer or credit card.

Freshman math major Matthew Garrett said, “I would be weary of booking a place that has no history or reviews. I feel like you have to do a lot of research before investing your time and money into a good vacation experience.”

The BBB has listed several tips to ensure vacationers secure a reliable place to stay this Spring Break. Among these helpful tips are to: conduct extensive research regarding hotels and other places to stay, consider travel insurance to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances, pay by means that include additional protection if complications with reservations arise, inquire about arbitrary fees and be educated about common scams.

“Airbnb isn’t something I’m too familiar with,” Junior communication major Jamie Ramirez said, “I would prefer to stick with a traditional hotel. If there was a rumored scam I would be even more reluctant to consider using Airbnb. Besides, I don’t feel comfortable making transactions online and never coming face-to-face with anyone from the place I’d be staying at.”

Ramirez is opting for what she believes to be the safer option; according to the BBB, last year Texans lost nearly $28,800 to travel-related scams.

As Spring Break swiftly approaches and plans are being contrived, make sure to be extra-vigilant to ensure your vacation plans unfold smoothly.

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