As travel picks up, so do scams. Beware of car rental scams

You get off the plane, go pick up your luggage and try to go rent a car.

No matter where you try and rent a car, there is a shortage.

Criminals are using the shortage to empty your bank account and fill up their wallets.

The shortage is just another problem created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, travel came to a halt and rental cars were stored by the thousands and then sold.

Now people are traveling once again and car rental prices have skyrocketed so scammers are taking advantage.

They are creating fake websites, where they are offering deals too good to be true.

Bryan Oglesby of the Better Business Bureau has seen this new scam happening across the country and in Southwest Florida.

“Scammers are seeing this as an opportunity to get their in-search results to pretend to be a rental car company, showing up when consumers are calling these numbers, they’re seeing great deals and then when they are going to book these rental car companies, the tip-off to the scam is they are asking you to pay with a gift card or a pre-paid debit card,” Oglesby said.

Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed:

  • Never pay with gift cards or prepaid debit cards
  • Go directly to the company website and check the URL carefully
  • Beware of sponsored links
  • Call the company to verify good deals

Rental car shortages are expected to continue as is this scam.

If someone tries to scam you, report it to law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau.

To report a scam, visit the Better Business Bureau here.

From the BBB: BBB Scam Alert: When booking a rental car, watch out for phony deals

Reporter:Rich Kolko
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