CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Cybersecurity company Norton Secure VPN is warning travelers to be aware of an uptick in recent scams. Despite reduced travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Trade Commission reported over $8 million in losses due to “travel-related consumer fraud complaints.”

Norton identified four major travel scams to watch out for when planning your next vacation:

  1. Scammers posing as airline agents
    • Some scammers pose as employees of an airline and encourage customers to book directly through them. Instead, Norton says to be sure “you are getting contact information directly from the business website.” Don’t rely on a search engine or email.
  2. Fake travel insurance policies
    • If you decide to purchase travel insurance, make sure you are buying the policy directly from a licensed company. It is also important to read the policy’s fine print and make sure you understand exactly what you are buying.
  3. Disappearing timeshare resellers
    • Norton says that one of the telltale signs of a scam is feeling rushed. Make sure you take time to think things through and confirm details like the seller’s identity.
  4. Vacation rental cons
    • Booking through reputable vacation rental sites with consumer protections, cancellation policies, and insurance guarantees can dramatically reduce risks. Even when using a reputable website, Norton suggests using a credit card to make any deposits or upfront payments, “which gives you both the booking platform and the credit card itself as fallbacks if something goes wrong.”