Common Florida Travel Scams and How to Avoid Them

Florida - Travel Scams
Florida - Travel Scams

More travel scams in Florida are likely this year as scammers get ready for some increased vacation travel. In 2022, 130 million travelers visited the State of Florida and it doesn’t look like it will slow down at all this year.

So, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody warned citizens to watch out for scams this Spring Break. Scammers know travel will up and will surely be taking advantage of the increase in scamming opportunities. 

Attorney General Moody recently released Scams at a Glance: Travel Traps to help would-be vacationers avoid some of the scams faced by travelers here every year. So, let’s unpack a few Common Florida Travel Scams and How to Avoid Them. 

Credit-Card Skimming 

This is illegal copying the magnetic strips on credit cards and/or ATM cards. This is often done while the card is taken out of sight or by attaching illegal skimming machines onto legitimate card readers of terminals.  

How to Avoid: 

  • Get your card back as soon as it’s swiped
  • Ensure that the card machine has not been altered before swiping
  • Guard pin numbers.

Florida - Travel Scams

Vehicle-Rental Scams 

This is when sports-rental equipment or vehicles (jet skis, scooters, boats, etc.) are rented to travelers. But, upon return, the owner then claims the renter caused the damage.

How to Avoid: 

  • Read reviews to find reputable sites for renting water sports equipment and/or vehicles. 
  • Inspect the rental for prior damage; take pictures for proof 
  • Ensure that vehicles are covered by insurance 
Related:  3 Days in Miami, Florida - A Vacation Guide

Taxi or Ride-Sharing Scams 

This is when unlicensed or unmetered drivers operating out of airports or tourist destinations charge undisclosed or jacked-up flat-rate fees over standard metered fares. 

How to Avoid: 

  • Researching and booking transportation services ahead of your trip 
  • Ensure that your driver is licensed and approved 
  • Always fee arrangements or meters before beginning your ride

Fake Ticket Scams to Get to Florida

Everyone has encountered this in at least some form. Scammers build fraudulent websites or ads to scam travelers into purchasing fake tickets or tickets they will never receive. Some go basic and simply produce actual fake tickets that are worthless and sell them to unsuspecting vacationers. When traveling, your awareness game always needs to be heightened. 

How to Avoid:  

  • Always know the general price of a ticket and remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is 
  • Always use reputable ticketing sites 

Be sure and stay up to speed on all the hot spots and sweet destinations in Florida. 

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