Last-minute Labor Day travel tips

Last-minute Labor Day travel tips

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Better Business Bureau warning for Labor Day travelers: watch out for vacation scammers working to take your hard earned money if you're not careful.

Labor Day is the next big holiday, and scammers are packing their bags, too, ready to take an end of summer vacation at your expense. Experts will tell you, just searching for holiday packages or answering an online survey can put scammers on to you.

Here are a few steps to follow to protect your money:

The possibility of scams start when you begin planning your trip, says the Better Business Bureau. It's reminding Labor Day travelers to proceed with caution before you book any great-sounding deals while planning your last minute trip.

First, book through a reliable travel agency and check out the business before you initiate a money exchange.  The BBB is a good place to start.

Search for reputable online deals. There are many legitimate websites that offer discount packages and travel deals, including Groupon and LivingSocial.  Also, travel sites that offer vacation packages at discounted rates, like Travelocity and Expedia. The BBB says these are great options for finding legitimate trips for an affordable price.

But read the deals carefully. Blackout dates and specific trip details may apply and impact your plans.

Forget verbal confirmations. Get details about your trip in writing including the confirmation, trip's total cost, flights, hotel reservations, car rental, and any restrictions. If someone steals your credit card information and uses it, you are not out any money.  You need to call your bank or credit card provider immediately. Tell them about the fraud and you won't be held responsible while the credit card company resolves the matter.

Pay with a credit card.  That way you're covered with the most protection should something go wrong, or you end up disputing a charge.

Consider buying travel insurance. It could be an inexpensive trip saver, providing partial or reimbursement coverage if a mishap, sickness or death forces you to change your plans. Don't skip on the research of different types of travel insurance policies. Thoroughly read the terms and conditions before buying.

Don't trust claims that you "won" a trip.  If the offer shows up unsolicited and you have to pay to receive your gift, it's probably a scam and too good to be true.

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