Consumer Alert: Consumer Protection Urges Consumers to Travel Smart This Holiday Season
Thursday, December 19, 2019 – The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is urging consumers to travel smart in order to avoid falling victim to fraud and losing money during the holiday season. This time of year is busy, and that means we may be more prone to make decisions too quickly.
“We make a lot of important decisions during the holidays, and we make them fast, in particular while we’re traveling” said Consumer Protection Michelle H. Seagull, “Unfortunately, that can leave us vulnerable to fraud. We’re encouraging consumers to take a few extra minutes this holiday season to protect their money and personal information. That way, families can spend the time they deserve together, instead of being worried about identity theft and fraud.”
Here are some things that consumers should pay attention to, and watch out for as they prepare to travel for the holidays:
Online Booking: If you are booking a last minute hotel or flight online, ensure that you’re on a secure website (that starts with https://), you don’t enter any information that isn’t needed to make a reservation or complete your purchase (like your social security number), and that you get confirmation of your reservation. If you have any reason to believe your reservation is inaccurate or fraudulent, you may also wish to confirm with your hotel or airline.
Rebooking Travel: If you have a delayed or cancelled flight or train, you may need to rebook your trip. If you find yourself in that situation, explore all of your options for rebooking. Lines may be long if you’re in an airport or train station. You can often rebook by calling the company you’re booked with, visiting their website, or chatting with them via social media.
Skimming at the Pump: When you swipe your card at the pump, there may be a risk that your information gets stolen if someone has installed a skimmer. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to pay inside with cash, and get a receipt. Some gas stations also offer the opportunity to pay with an app without swiping your card.
- If you have to use a card, use a credit card, not a debit card. Then, check to see if there are seals on the fuel dispenser, see below example. If the seal is broken or voided, you should let the station operator know about the broken seal, and use a different pump.
If you believe your card information has been stolen, you should report it to your credit card company immediately. Advice for businesses regarding skimming from the Federal Trade Commission can be found here.
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, or need to report something suspicious, you can contact DCP’s Complaint Center by emailing email@example.com, chatting with us online by visiting ct.gov/dcp/complaint, or by calling (860) 713-6300.
Lora Rae Anderson
(860) 713-6019 (office)
(860) 257-8711 (cell)