New for 2020 are scammers that sell phony COVID-19 travel insurance policies that claim to cover losses for any reason, at no extra charge. Buyers find out the hard way that these policies don’t provide the protection they expected. In general, claims due to “known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories or fear of travel” are not covered by travel insurance policies.

COVID-19 is a foreseen event, so many travel insurance coverages don’t apply. The only way to get coverage for COVID-19-related losses is to buy a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) policy directly from a licensed, reputable company. These policies usually cost significantly more than standard travel insurance policies.

Another travel scam involves social media. Scammers post enticing photos on sites like Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram to dupe even the savviest of travelers. Upon clicking the imagewhich lures clicks through the promise of a free trip or plane ticketsyou will be prompted to either complete a survey rife with personal information or open your computer up to secretly malicious software.

Make sure the social media page you’re on is an accredited account. All major airlines and travel sites link directly to their social media handles from their respective web pages. 

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