Car rental companies turn to old rental scams

Car rental companies are up to their old rental scams again. 

collission insuramceJust ask Greg Taylor, who rented a sedan from Fox Rent-A-Car last month. He found that the companies are using their old rental car scams again.

He had prepaid $106 through Expedia for the car. But Fox charged him an additional $177.

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“When I picked up the vehicle, Fox advised me that they don’t accept Expedia’s collision protection and that I would be required to use their supplemental and rental liability insurance,” he recalls.

Taylor’s situation was complicated because he flew from South Africa to Orlando. Car rental companies can get confused about liability insurance requirements.

But rest assured. The confusion is almost always resolved to the company’s advantage. It certainly was in this case.

Common car rental scams.

It’s worth reviewing the most common car rental scams since they seem to be revving up again at the start of the summer:

  • The insurance scam. The car rental company says insurance is required, forcing you to accept its overpriced rental liability coverage. You can avoid this problem with careful research and a rock-solid travel insurance plan.
  • The ding-and-dent scam. This one’s a classic. Six months after you return the car, you get a $495 repair bill for a dent no one noticed while you rented the vehicle. It’s only $5 less than your deductible, and it’s accompanied by a stern warning to pay up or get reported to a credit rating agency. That’s why you always take pictures before and after your rental.
  • The refueling plan scam. That’s where the agent tries to talk you into a pricey refueling plan that benefits the company more than it does you. You’re almost always better off declining it and returning the vehicle with a full tank of gas.

Irritated by hotel resort fees?What about Taylor? Our advocate, Dwayne Coward, reached out to Fox on his behalf. The company refused to discuss his case with us, but Expedia agreed to refund the prepaid rate. Why didn’t Fox accept the prepaid rate through Expedia? It refused to answer.

We downgraded Fox Rent-A-Car’s customer responsiveness scores in response to this case.

The takeaway: Car rental companies are gearing up for a make-up summer. They may be dusting off some old scams as well.

Warning: You’ll probably get scammed this summer

There’s no need to travel anywhere to get scammed this summer. You may become a victim even before you leave, according to new research conducted by McAfee.

According to the study, one-third of Americans fell for a travel-related scam before leaving on their trip. Of those victims, 34 percent reported suffering financial losses ranging from $500 to $1,000, highlighting the devastating impact of these deceptions.

Among the findings:

  • In the United States, 13 percent of adults admitted to unknowingly providing their credit card information to fake websites, resulting in fraudulent payments.
  • While 51 percent of surveyed individuals expressed concerns about their devices being compromised while traveling, only 45 percent took advantage of identity monitoring services.
  • Surprisingly, nearly half of the vacationers (48 percent) admitted to neglecting online security measures or not considering them at all while vacationing.

Join UsThe takeaway: This is a good time to run a security check on your phones and computers. By remaining vigilant, using secure networks, and practicing safe online habits, you can better protect yourself from scammers.

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