6 Holiday Scams Putting Travellers at Risk
We shouldn’t have to say the old adage, “if it’s too good to be true…” but sometimes we all get stars in our eyes and fall victim to a scam. The best way to avoid scams is to be aware of what is out there.
Here are 6 Holiday Scams Putting Travellers at Risk
- ACCOMMODATION BOOKING SCAM
Pretty photographs of holiday rentals vs the sometimes ugly and dismal truth about holiday rentals is one of the fastest growing scams in travel. Photos posted online at accomodation websites can easily be faked and if you are encouraged to make a reservation via email versus the accomodation website’s booking system, this could be a red flag that the place you think is your dream holiday rental could very well be a fake. The scammers often email you a payment page that look legitimate but ends up not working and asking for funds to be transferred instead.
TIP: If you think it’s too good to be true, Google the property to see if it shows up on other websites and use Google Maps and Street View to see if the property exists. Also, do not book via email. Only use the booking systems on the accomodation website.
- DOCUMENT FRAUD
We’ve written about visa frauds before. There are multitude of sites offering visas and while some are illegal, a lot of sites are just reselling documents at a huge market up compared to the official site and that is unfortunately not illegal.
TIP: Apply for visas through official government websites and only follow links from those sites.
- FAKE TICKETS
Be wary of purchasing travel packages or international event packages that offer a great deal for super cheap. You could end up with invalid travel documents and if you purchased tickets to an event, they could be fake.
TIP: Purchase tickets from legitimate sites and if you want second-hand-tickets, make sure sure resale is allowed as some tickets are for the named person only.
- FREE HOLIDAYS
Whether it be a timeshare or a “you’ve won a free trip to somewhere amazing” be wary of fake emails, competitions you never entered, and more.
TIP: Say no to timeshares. Toss mail and delete emails that say “you’ve won” especially if you didn’t enter to win.
- FLIGHT DEALS ON THE CHEAP
If the airline deal you find seems too good to be true, check to see if the airline is a real airline. Fake airline websites promote cut throat pricing but provide no travel.
TIP: Book through trusted airlines and legitimate travel agencies.
- WI-FI HACKS
Before you pop onto the airports free wi-fi, know that some brilliant hackers, create their own free networks in airports and use that to gain free information about anyone who uses their network and sometimes they even snag your credit card details. If the connection doesn’t ask you for a password straight away, it could be a red flag you are using a fake connection.
TIP: Ask airport staff about real wi-fi connections and do not provide sensitive information (email, name, number), provide fake details when possible.