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What to watch out for to avoid vacation scams

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Now that the kids are almost out of school for the summer, you're probably ready to get away on vacation.

But while you're looking for the perfect getaway, there are people out there looking to take advantage of you.

Con artists may post properties that aren't actually for rent, don't exist or are just really different from how they're advertised.

They'll try to get you to bite by offering a good deal or they may push you to book quickly, claiming someone else is interested.

According to the Better Business Bureau, you should do your research before booking.

Look for reviews online and check out other vacation rentals in the area.

If the listing you're considering is much lower than others nearby, it's probably too good to be true.

You should also watch out for any red flags if you're required to pay in advance.

"If someone's asking for gift cards or prepaid Amazon cards or iTunes cards, it's probably not a real vacation booking," said Jamie Howell with BBB.  "[You] always want to use a credit card.  If you give someone cash, there's really no way to track it.  If you give someone a credit card, you can track it and possibly dispute it if you are being scammed."

To research scams specific to a certain area, go to BBB.org/scamtracker.

You can type in key words and search by location to see if anyone else has reported any fraudulent activity.

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