Shelly Stamis saw an online advertisement for a vacation home in Florida at only $200 a night, and she figured she had found a solid bargain.
"We looked at all the pictures, and it was right on the beach, and it was definitely in our price zone, so we booked it," the Grand Rapids, Michigan, mom told NBC News.
Shelly wired $1,500 to a bank account in Florida and packed up her two children, but when they arrived everything went wrong. Shelly found out she was a victim of a growing form of online scam that targets travelers booking hotels and vacation homes, enticing them with too-good-to-be-true deals.
According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 15 million scam reservations were made last year, costing Americans over a billion dollars.