ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - With the World Series starting Wednesday, the Better Business Bureau is warning fans booking hotel rooms to use caution.
The BBB warns consumers against a Boston area Craigslist ad misleading fans with an offer for $1 room in the headline, but the text says 50 percent of the market rate. Craigslist has also flagged the ad as suspicious.
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"Scammers may lure people by advertising low prices - or they may charge a premium by claiming that the hotel is close to the ballpark when it isn't," BBB President and CEO Michelle Corey said. "Others may offer tickets with the hotel room, but you have little or no way of verifying whether the tickets are real."
The BBB recommends consumers ask a lot of questions and be wary of ads requiring money to be wired.
The BBB also recommends the following:
• Read any ads carefully, making sure you understand what is being offered and what the total price will be.
• Ask the seller where he or she is located and for contact information that can be verified. If the seller is evasive, don't pursue the offer.
• Ask for the name, address and phone number of the hotel where the room is located, and call the hotel to verify that the room actually exists. Check the hotel's website or a well-known travel site to be sure that the location is convenient for getting to and from the ballpark.
• Be wary of ads that pile on incentives to make the package look better. Often the items - such as lanyards, T-shirts or other trinkets - have limited value.
• Use a credit card to make your reservation. A credit card company can assist you with obtaining a refund if the offer turns out to be fraudulent or if there are other problems with the accommodation.
• Do your research. A variety of travel guidebooks and online reviews address services and amenities at hotels and motels.
• Make sure you get a confirmation number from the business when reserving a room. Also, make sure you know times of check-in and check-out, and clearly understand the type of room you are paying for (smoking or nonsmoking, queen or double beds, regular room or suite, etc.)
• If you have any concern about the quality of a motel or hotel, ask to inspect your room before moving in. You have a better chance to get satisfaction from staff or management if you have not already accepted your room. If you spot a problem, report it to the front desk immediately.