MADISON, Wis. (7/2/13)--For scammers, the summer vacation season is the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, you are the game ball these crooks hope to catch in their quick-money schemes.
One emerging fraud is an update of the "grandparent scam" for the Internet age. One-third of consumers ages 18-49 share their vacation plans on social media. Criminals who see this information can contact family members, typically the elderly, requesting a money transfer to solve an "emergency situation" involving the vacationers (Orlando Sentinel June 22).
Last year victims attempted to send $20.5 million through MoneyGram, a popular money-transfer company, to con artists using the grandparent scam. To avoid a similar fate, don't post your vacation plans on Facebook or Twitter. If you receive a panicked phone call from a purported relative, before sending money call the relative who supposedly is in trouble.
Here are some other popular summer scams and what you can do to avoid them, according to Time magazine (June 22).