News 6 Holiday Scams Putting Travellers at Risk

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Read more on Scams & Privacy

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Anonymous from VIC commented:

Re: 4 Free Holidays. Most timeshare is good value if you know where to find it. Timeshare schemes offered at shopping centres, that have to offer the chance of free holidays, in our experience are bad value timeshare. We bought into timeshare in 1984 and have had many great value family holidays. In retirement we are having 8 weeks a year of resort holidays for around $500 per week holiday. Better than caravans or hotels. Like everything, do your homework and don’t take the first one you see. Talk with homeshare owners. P. S. I’m an owner, not a seller. David, Chirnside Park Vic. 

Anonymous from QLD commented:

Hello Judi yes! 2 4 1 - Gold Coast? Copper Coast? Rip-off Coast? I did get written info. which I've passed by a couple of friends .....touch only at the end of a barge pole!! Chuck 

Terry from QLD commented:

I love the one that tells me my car has been in an accident and I must engage their services to avoid prosecution. I am 87 and my car is up on blocks at present. But I do join and say yes I lost an arm when the Insurance car T-boned me1 

Anonymous from QLD commented:

Friday 26 October 2018 Got a phone call 'out of the blue' just before noon today offering me great discount vouchers on cruises if booked within the next 12 months for travel within the next 18 months: 2 for 1, + 50% discount at name brand hotels, blah! blah! 'How much' I asked? $879.00 for the vouchers. 'Well!' I said, 'send me information in writing' ..... e-mail was promised, not a word since! Chuck, Cairns. 

judi from NSW commented:

Chuck was that my 241 cruises on the Gold Coas Nerang? I was rung up and accepted 2 vouchers at 199 but charged more. I thought they were legit as they had an address and were certified by ATAS a travel body. Cruises came with no frills (extras.) Vouches were about as much value as tolet paper. I lost on that one. Dont know what ATAS is doing??? Regards Judi 

Gertraud from ACT commented:

Surely, this is all common sense? 

Anonymous from VIC commented:

Will be watching more closely thank you from a grateful "Senior" 

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