Tempted by early booking or last minute offers? Have you ever received a travel offer via email and you don’t remember sending your details to any travel agencies? For nearly half the usual price, they offer you a wonderful and luxurious holiday and you must hurry up, because it’s a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ offer. Well, you’d better watch out – it might as well be a scam!
Scammers very often use such social engineering techniques to trick you into giving away your personal details or credit card information, or just to make easy money. Either way, these fake travel offers can be a real threat to your internet security.
How do these travel scams usually work
One day you receive an incredible holiday offer via email from a bogus travel agency. You have already thought of making vacation plans, and this seems to be the right time. You get too excited to pay attention to details. All you have to do is to send an amount of money in advance to the so-called travel agency, or visit their website and pay via credit card; just to be sure you are among the first beneficiaries.
Not so fast. Do you really know what’s behind the offer?
Unfortunately, such offers are indeed too good to be true. Behind the travel agency usually hide some scammers that want your money and the “key” to your bank account. Some may ask you to send money in advance to their personal bank account or via money transfer services. Others send you links to fake websites where you must enter your credit card details. You are assured that the booking process is complete and all you have to do is pack up your things and leave. But little do you know that your internet security has been breached. And perhaps your bank account is already empty.
Many people were tricked and found out there was no reservation on their names at the hotel, they got no discounts for accommodation, or simply they never received the promised vouchers they sent money in advance for.
So how to tell whether it’s true, or just a really bad joke?
Tips on how to protect yourself against travel scams:
- Check all the details regarding the travel agency that sent you the offer. Does it exist indeed, and what do others say about it?
- Contact the hotel staff directly and ask details regarding the reservation, offer and partnership with the travel agency.
- Check with the airlines or other means of transportation provided, if any.
- Be extremely cautious if someone asks you to send money in advance via money transfer services. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get them back, and you don’t even know the person who received them.
- Do not click on links in suspicious emails claiming you won a great holiday or prize, especially if you don’t remember participating in any competition. Surely they’re all part of a phishing scam.
- Use a reliable internet security suite, such as BullGuard Internet Security 2013, to pay safe online and securely browse the internet.
Beware of making hasty decisions and stay away from travel scams. Protect yourself with BullGuard Internet Security 2013. It includes powerful Antivirus and Safe Browsing components, as well as a Spamfilter that keep you out of trouble.
Posted by Elena Ionica