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News & Information

Planning Your Trip Abroad

Release Date: December 28, 2018

Posted December 28, 2018

Planning ahead will make your trip safer and less stressful. Following the steps in this brochure will help you remain safe during your time traveling.

Planning Your Trip Abroad Brochure

Additional information from:

CDC: VACCINES. MEDICINES. ADVICE. external link

U.S. Department of State: Travel documents, Resources, Emergency Information, Travel Advisories external link


This information is provided courtesy of the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office.


Updated November 29, 2018

This is the time of year when many Americans book flights home to see family for the holidays. Before booking, one should be aware of the potential scams which involve travel. It is much easier being swindled out of personal and credit card information today than it has been in years past. Instead of going to ticket counters or calling up airlines, many people buy their tickets online out of convenience. This gets dangerous when those on the other end of the server are "phishing." Unlike the fishing that we know, phishing with a "ph", involves individuals sending emails pretending to be reputable companies, in this case airlines. They do so to get the person on the other end of the email to give up personal information which they can use in the furtherance of their criminal activities.

A major United States airline has been experiencing an ongoing scam in which criminals who claim that they work for the airline send out emails saying that the customer's credit cards have been charged for airline tickets. Because the email looks as though it is from an airline, the customer opens it. In those emails there are often attachments, and when the customer opens the attachment a virus enters their computer and takes their personal information. The airline recommends that when one realizes that this has occurred, to change the passwords on the account right away to protect their identity.

While booking online, we are often told we can get the best deals through third-party sites rather than booking directly on the airline website. However, when booking through another site, one runs a much higher risk of getting their information stolen. The best way to avoid travel scams is to book directly through the airline, hotel, or car rental website that they will be using. The reputable companies should have "https://" at the beginning of their url. If you decide to use a third-party site, be sure to use one that is reputable by reading the reviews as well as checking with the Better Business Bureau ( https://www.bbb.org/en/us external link ).

Call the company right after booking to confirm the reservation. If you suspect a fraud has occurred, immediately notify your local law enforcement agency. The sooner the fraud has been reported, the better.

Sources: https://www.delta.com/us/en/advisories/other-alerts/phishing-email-alert external link
https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-online-scams-5-tips-to-protect-yourself-from-online-travel-booking-scams.html external link

The information is provided courtesy of the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office.

How to Avoid Charity Scams

During the holiday season, it seems as though we spend more time out shopping than in our own homes. We are at grocery stores, toy stores, clothing stores and more often today, using online retailers. When we get to the check out counter, or the check out cart for online shopping, we are often asked to donate to charities. But when we donate are we really sure what exactly we are donating to?

In recent years, scams involving charities that we have grown to trust have been scattered across headlines. These charity organizations are often accused of taking the money and only giving a small percentage to the cause, or in some cases, they do not give the money to the people they claim to help at all.

When coming upon the season of giving, be sure to make educated decisions on which charities you choose to give to. If they ask for you to wire money, pay via gift card, or give money in cash, you cannot guarantee where the money is going. Instead, when choosing to donate pay via a check or credit card so that it shows on the statement who the payment was made to. Be sure to record all donations made so that you can be aware if you are charged more than you agreed to, or if you have been signed up for a reoccurring donation.

Scammers can call over the phone and disguise the number so that it appears local on your caller ID. When talking they will often use names of real charities or names that sound like they could be charities. The scam artist might not have answers to questions on exactly how the money might be used when donated. Scammers often try to rush victims and make them feel uncomfortable so that they agree to the scam. If you feel uncomfortable with the person on the line but still want to donate to the charity, do your own research first and find if it is reputable.

If you want to know whether or not a charity is reputable, you can always check with the Better Business Bureau at (https://www.bbb.org/en/us external link). Or go on https://charitynavigator.org external link. Charity Navigator will give the finances of the company, like how they spend their money. They will give you the accountability and transparency, and charities which are similar to it. Charity Navigator gives the charity an overall rating out of four stars based on these factors. If you feel uneasy about donating over the phone, you can donate to the organization that you wish through Charity Navigator.

Making donations to charities can be a great thing but just make sure that the charity is reputable.

Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/how-donate-wisely-and-avoid-charity-scams external link

The information is provided courtesy of the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office.