With the ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions and positive cases increasing throughout the country, travelers continue to lose money when it comes to vacation scams.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly $80 million in losses have been reported by consumers in vacation and travel scams since January 2020.

One way that travelers are losing money involves copycat websites where scammers make it appear they are with legitimate airlines or vacation rental sites.

“Sometimes this might come through targeted ads on social media that are fake and are leading you to a fake website,” said Yoav Keren, CEO of BrandShield, a company that works with legitimate businesses to expose and stop fake websites. “Many of them will, of course, want to steal your money so take your credit card, take your credentials. Some would infiltrate your computer.”

Keren said that this time of year, scammers step up their efforts to target consumers.

“What we see is a spike…

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