Arkansans should be aware of common scams when planning or taking a vacation, according to a news release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.


“Countless Arkansans look to summer vacation as a chance to get away and relax, but con artists become creative and recognize this as another opportunity to steal from honest people,” Rutledge said. “Arkansans should not let their guard down, even on vacation. Whether it’s at home, on the beach or by the lake, we all need to remain diligent in protecting our money and personal information.”


All vacationers should exercise caution when booking travel accommodations. Some scammers will take to the internet or phone lines to pitch free or deeply discounted travel deals, trying to convince unknowing vacationers that the only requirement is a “small” processing fee or credit card number verification. Others will post stolen photos and listing information for properties they don’t own, take the cash from reservations and leave vacationers without a place to stay, according to the release.


Arkansans should not only keep their guard up during the booking process, but also throughout the vacation itself. Vacationers should be weary of high-pressure tactics and seemingly legitimate but unverified offers while on their trips.


Attorney General Rutledge also released the below list of common scams consumers could encounter on vacation:


Gasoline Scam: Someone approaches with a convincing story that they ran out of gas and money. They only need $40 to fill up the tank and may even offer to mail a check to repay you. The likelihood that the repayment will be received is slim. Either refuse to give the person money or pay for the fuel if the person is at the service station to ensure the money is spent as intended.


Ride Service Scam: A “driver” approaches and mentions he is off duty but trying to make some extra money and offers a ride, but he ends up taking the scenic route traveling miles out of the way to boost the fare. To avoid this scam, ensure the driver is on duty, licensed and metered.


Fake Front Desk Phone Call Scam: Scam artists call hotel rooms directly, often in the middle of the night while guests are disoriented by being woken up. They say there has been a computer glitch and they need to verify your credit card information. Hang up and go directly to the front desk to verify the call.


Wi-Fi Hot Spot Scam: Crooks can create their own Wi-Fi spot and give it a similar name to an actual hotspot. Then these scammers can spy on everything the user does, from accessing bank accounts to making online purchases. Be sure to ask the hotel or restaurant what their Wi-Fi name is before logging on.


It is possible to find a good travel deal or even win a vacation. However, Arkansans should do their homework when booking and remember that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Details: Arkansas Attorney General’s office, 800-482-8982 or consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.