Holiday Makers – How They Are Being Targeted By Scammers Online

Thousands of holidaymakers are being targeted when they go online to book their vacation. According to a report by McAfee, as much as £7 million has been scammed from travelers in 2018 alone.Close to 27% of the victims had no clue that they were scammed until they arrived at their destination and realized that their booking is not valid. This would be the worst possible time to discover this and it is the last thing you need when you are looking forward to resting up after the long journey you’ve had to endure to get there. 

Who is being targeted?

Cybercriminals are often targeting the most popular tourist destinations based on the total search volumes. The most common ones are Peyia in Cyprus, Florida in the US, Malaga in Spain and Lagos in Portugal just to name a few. If you have plans to visit these places then you must be extra careful when making the bookings. Apart from fake bookings, these fake holiday booking portals can also steal personal information and install malware on your computer, tablet, and smartphones which can do more damage in the future. so it is essential to keep your devices updated through regular computer updates on your computer as well as smartphones and tablets.

How to Avoid Getting Scammed?

Here are some tips that you can follow as a traveler booking online to avoid falling victim to such scams on fraudulent sites,

Steer clear of the ‘too-good-to-be-true’ offers

A general rule of thumb for everything in life, when something is too good to be true, it probably is. According to the report by McAfee, over a quarter of all the victims were lured into the scam through the promise of a heavily discounted trip. To ensure that you don’t come under this statistic, stay alert and if something doesn’t quite feel right, do your research on the company, their website and what they have to offer. If it is not a legitimate deal then there will be something online that will show it.

If you don’t find any reviews from other users online then you can go to their website directly and under the contact us or about us you must be able to find a real-world address and a phone number. Give that number a ring just to check if you can get through to a human on the other end. You can also check if the company is a member of ABTA in their privacy policy which will be available at the top or the bottom the website. 

Secure Payments

When possible make your bookings on a credit card over a debit card. This will make sure that you have an option to reclaim the amount if in case you don’t receive what you are promised. Generally, you can make claims anywhere from £100 to £30,000. This is not possible if the booking was made with a debit card. 

Be extremely cautious of popups that may come up directing you to other sites when finalizing the booking. These may show you offers with exceptional discounts. If you have a keen eye, there is always something that gives them away. Make sure that the URL of the website begins with – ‘http:’ and make sure that there is a padlock symbol on the top left corner of the webpage. These are a few signs that signify that the webpage is secure.