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Scammers take advantage of skyrocketing rental car prices

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As things start to look more normal in the United States, some people may be looking forward to taking summer trips, but their excitement could make them easy prey for scammers. That excitement, coupled with the skyrocketing price of car rentals, may make people so desperate to get a good deal quickly that they may not question it.

"They know that consumers are traveling and ready to go on vacation somewhere, it's been a long year, year, and a half," Tiffany Schultz with the Better Business Bureau said. "What better way than to develop a scam where a consumer wants to go so bad, and they're going to be willing to pay the price to get that special deal that the scammer is offering?"

Scammers are creating fake websites and sponsored ads with car rental deals, but to get their special price, you have to pay by pre-paid debit or gift card. Once the scammer has the first card, they'll try to scam you again by saying the card isn't working and that the consumer needs to go buy another one.

"This can go on multiple times," Schultz said. "So every time you're giving them this information, they're taking the funds off those cards and it's a vicious cycle for a car rental that doesn't exist."

She said scammers are also doing this with flights as well.

To avoid getting scammed, Schultz suggests going directly to a company's website to book a rental, or call the official number to book through their customer service line.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true," Schultz said.

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Sara Maslar-Donar

Reporter, WKOW 27 News

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