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Spring Break Scam

Creighton Hayes and eleven other friends looked forward to a week away from studying in Gulf Shores, Alabama for spring break. A friend’s girlfriend called a rental agency to choose a house for everyone to stay in.Each person paid $150 as down payment. Last month, the friend’s girlfriend tried to call the leaser of the beach house. She emailed, she called and left voicemails never receiving a reponse. Finally she called the rental company and received devastating news. “They said, ‘oh…well…it was verified by the site but it turns out the house is actually a scam,” Hayes says. The group of friends made payments using Western Union and lost the money and the vacation plans. “It’s unfortunate the plans got ruined and we don’t have anything to do and we all can’t go together now but I guess in the big scheme of things I only had $150 invested in it,” Hayes says. Officials from the Better Business Bureau say they see consistent issues with aspects of spring break travel. Mike Odneal of the Better Business Bureau suggests paying close attention to pictures, misspellings and anything else that could hint that the site or trip could be a scam. Make sure to be cautious when asked for money transfers. Odneal recommends using the better business bureau’s website to research companies and checking out reviews of your destination before booking the trip.

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