Kaspersky warns travelers about the rise of vacation scams and provides essential tips to protect against fraudsters offering cheap airline tickets, fake accommodations, and deceptive surveys. By utilizing trusted websites, verifying authenticity, researching options, and employing a robust security solution, travelers can ensure a secure and scam-free vacation.
11 July 2023 – With the vacation season in full swing, Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company, is shedding light on the increasing threat of fraudsters preying on unsuspecting travelers seeking enticing travel destinations, affordable accommodations, and reasonably priced flights. In order to protect travelers from falling victim to scams, Kaspersky researchers have identified common fraud schemes and provided valuable advice to ensure a scam-free vacation.
The first scam highlighted by Kaspersky focuses on ticket fraud, with numerous fraudulent websites claiming to offer cheap airline tickets. These well-crafted phishing pages often imitate well-known airline services and ticket aggregators, even presenting real flight details obtained from legitimate sources. However, instead of delivering the promised tickets, these scams aim to steal money and exploit personal information for malicious purposes, such as selling bank details and identifying information on the dark web.
Accommodation scams also pose a significant threat to travelers. Scammers create attractive online listings for vacation rentals or apartments, featuring appealing photos and low prices to entice potential victims. However, once a booking is made and payment is sent, it is revealed that the accommodation does not exist. Additionally, fraudsters may set up fake websites resembling legitimate hotel booking platforms, prompting users to log in using their social media or email credentials. This grants scammers unauthorized access to victims’ accounts, leading to identity theft and other malicious activities.
Another fraudulent scheme highlighted by Kaspersky involves survey and giveaway scams. Scammers create deceptive websites or send emails promising substantial rewards, such as cash prizes, in exchange for completing travel surveys. These surveys collect personal information under the guise of eligibility requirements, but the promised rewards are never delivered. The information provided is then used for fraudulent purposes, including identity theft and unauthorized access to financial accounts. Additionally, scammers often request participants to share the site with friends, allowing them to further propagate the scam.
To protect travelers from falling victim to these scams, Olga Svistunova, security expert at Kaspersky, advises maintaining vigilance and exercising caution when engaging in online travel activities. Svistunova emphasizes the importance of verifying the authenticity of websites, utilizing trusted booking platforms, and refraining from sharing personal or financial information without proper verification. By following these precautions and approaching online travel planning with a skeptical mindset, travelers can ensure a secure and scam-free vacation experience.