CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – If you are planning to travel this summer, it is important to keep an eye out for hotel booking schemes.

There have been multiple reports of travelers that have fallen victim to lookalike websites, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It is very important to confirm that you are on the right website before you make your hotel reservations.

This scheme works by when you research hotels in the city you plan on visiting, and you see a “official” hotel website or a legitimate travel booking agency. When you go to the website, you see professional photos from the hotel and it is a reasonable price.

When you decide to book a room, you enter your credit card information and you check out. When you look at the credit card statement, it shows that you have been charged a higher rate than what you agreed to. The website turned out to be a third-party site that does not have any affiliation with the hotel. When you try to contact someone about canceling your reservation, you can’t get a hold of anyone, or they might say it’s nonrefundable.

The BBB has created tips on how to avoid similar schemes:

  • Only book hotels through official websites. The best way to avoid this kind of scheme is to check and double-check you are on an official hotel website before you enter your credit card information. Schemers are pros at building fake lookalike websites to fool you into giving up your information. Look closely at the URL to ensure you are on the hotel’s official website or a booking agency you know and trust.
  • Only make reservations through secure websites. You’ll also want to ensure websites and their payment pages are secure, meaning they start with https:// and display a padlock symbol. If a web page isn’t secure, don’t enter your personal information and close the tab.
  • Watch out for misleading ads. Look at search results carefully. Just because a website is the first result on the page doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. Watch out for high-ranking ads that schemers could sponsor.
  • Research businesses you aren’t familiar with. If you find a booking site that looks professional but you haven’t heard of it before, proceed with caution. Search for reviews on third-party websites and keep a close eye out for reports of schemes. Never share your personal information with a person or business until you know they are trustworthy.