Consumer Investigator Sasha Jones is hitting the streets of South Florida to find out what questions you are burning to know the answers to.

In our series Consumer Corner, NBC6 Responds takes your money questions to the experts.

Each week, we will feature a different consumer question. 

Question:  “How can I avoid scams while booking summer travel?” 

Expert: Leyla Bilge, Director of Scam Research Labs at Gen Digital 


When searching for the cheapest flight, hotel, or short-term rental for an upcoming trip it is important to be careful. 

Travel scams typically rise during busy travel seasons. 

“So we have to try to understand before we book. What does the average normal pricing for the place you are going. Scammers will target that,” Leyla Bilge with Gen Digital said. 

Bilge is a scam expert and says the first step to avoiding scams is to research your destination and what the trip will cost. 

This will help you recognize deals that are too good to be true. 

Next, she says, try to book directly on the booking platform. This will ensure you get the added protections offered. 

“The second thing is you should never book things outside of the booking platform, when you are trying to book something like on Airbnb, you shouldn’t start talking to someone who will tell you ‘I am going to make you a better deal if you send me the money directly’. It might sound better to you, you might not have to pay the Airbnb fees, but the likelihood of you getting scammed is really really high,” Bilge said. 

Lastly, be on the lookout for what’s known as an imposter scam.  

It can start when someone calls on the phone and impersonates a person working for the airline or hotel. The scammers is often seeking out your personal information. 

“This is becoming really key, because a lot of scammers and attackers that are actually impersonating known brands, you will think you are getting travel insurance from someone you know already, but they are actually impersonating. Sometimes when you are doing travel booking through your mobile phone it is even harder to see where you are going at, so you have to be really sure,” said Bilge. 

Remember, scammers typically try to pressure you to make quick decision or ask you to send money through wire transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency. 

These are typically signs something isn’t right. 

If you believe you have been the target of a travel scam you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

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