Are you planning to join a pride parade this year? Pride Month is supposed to celebrate lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders, their rights, and their achievements. However, scam artists take these gatherings as another opportunity to expand their victim list. To help you stay away from these scams, we will share the different types of pride parade travel scams and how you can avoid them. Read on to learn how you can attend pride parades without falling into a scammer’s trap!
Why the LGBT Community Should Watch Out for Travel Scams
You may be passionate about attending pride parades and fighting for LGBT rights. However, remember that scammers are scattered in different places trying to find more ways to fool you during these important events. One main reason that you should remain cautious is that it only takes them a few minutes to steal your personal information. If you make the mistake of sharing your personal and financial data while trying to plan your travel, you may be surprised to find that your bank account is already empty.
Some scammers may just want to spread hate against the LGBT community. Given the struggles that the community has gone through, you don’t need that added stress from these scammers. So, stay vigilant.
Types of LGBT Pride Parade Travel Scams
Fake Travel Discounts
One of the most common pride parade travel scams is fake travel deals. These scam artists will create fake websites and advertise bogus travel deals. To someone attending momentous pride events, these offers may sound tempting to you. However, make sure the site is legitimate. While scammers offer huge discounts on these travel packages, they come with exorbitant hidden fees, like transfer and luggage fees.
Fake Free Trips
Other scammers may offer you trips that are too luxurious to be true. For instance, they will say that the trip is 100% free. Most pride parade travel scams will give you free airfare. However, if you carefully read the fine print, you will see that it is not free. You can find all the hidden fees and realize that you’re paying more than you should. Besides, during these trying times, no one would volunteer to let you attend pride parades for free.
Fake Front Desk Calls
Pride parade travel scams also include calls from people pretending to be from the front desk. They will tell you that because of computer or payment issues, they need to verify your personal information again. Since they gave the right room number, you’ll trust that they’re indeed from the hotel you’re staying at. However, sharing your credit card information means an easy route for them to steal your money and identity.
Many scammers will send you a message via email, leading you to reveal sensitive information, like your credit card details. Apart from travel deals that are too good to be true, they will tell you that you’ve won a contest. To claim your prize, you need to share important personal information.
If you don’t remember joining any competition, the unsolicited email has likely come from a scammer. You can’t expect to win thousands of dollars without even signing up for these contests. Links embedded in these emails may also contain malware, so do not click on them.
Fake Wi-Fi Hub
Scammers take advantage of the need to go online, especially if you’re traveling to another place. They will set up a free Wi-Fi hub, but logging in means giving them a chance to steal your data. That is why you must not use unsafe networks. To ensure that your data is secure, use a VPN. More importantly, if it’s not a secured network, do not open sensitive information, like your bank account details.
How To Avoid Pride Parade Travel Scams
For you to enjoy and focus on the essence of pride parades, avoid LGBT travel scams by following these steps:
- Never share your bank details over the phone, email, or on any other medium. Disclosing your Social Security number and other personal information will only lead you to unnecessary losses financially and emotionally.
- Be suspicious of high-pressure calls. Scammers will often tell you that you have to hurry and get the deal because there’s only one slot left or that the sale ends in 24 hours. Ignore these statements and focus on checking the company’s background before grabbing any offers.
- Do not make any payment to strangers. While this is simple and self-explanatory, many still end up paying people they don’t know. Make sure you have confirmed the legitimacy of the hotel or company before making a transaction.
- Pay attention to spelling and grammar errors. Scammers’ messages do not often flow well, so pay attention to how the content is constructed.
- Research the company. Check out the BBB site to see possible complaints and verify whether the business really exists.
- Send a report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if you’ve been a victim of identity theft.
Avoid Pride Parade Travel Scams with Social Catfish!
Traveling to attend pride parades is such a meaningful and fulfilling journey. However, it can also mean meeting various scam artists. Beat pride parade travel scams by following our tips above and using the reverse search platform on Social Catfish. You can report any scam that you have been a victim of to the FTC.