Travel Website Is On The Rise
It’s estimated that 30% of travel-related scam victims lost between $1,000 to $3,000 due to phishing and fraudulent practices. Despite increased awareness and strong cybersecurity measures, schemers are still managing to hijack your information, finances, and ruin your perfect summer vacation. McAfee discovered in a recent study that one out of every five Americans fell prey or nearly fell for a travel website that was nothing more than a scam. It’s not only book scams that travelers need to be wary of but also data breaches and unauthorized account activity.
AirBNB is no stranger to this as the popular home-rental and travel app fell victim to hackers that authorized charges to account holders and quickly deleted accounts once they received the money. While this might have been out of the control of those affected, there are ways to prevent from being scammed on a fake travel website.
How To Notice a Fake Travel Website
Travel websites are similar to any other site you visit and noticing the legitimacy of the sites are all the same. Here are a few tricks to tell if the website you are purchasing from is not a scam.
Valid Web Address – With phony websites abound it’s estimated that a third of the consumers surveyed were taken advantage of due to not checking if the site was real and valid. One key indicator a website is fake is the domain name. Notice if the domain has any misspellings, odd characters, or is a play on a website’s actual name. For example, a fake Facebook website might say, Faceb00k-friends.com or, a fake travel website might read, travel0-city.com.
Spoofing a website is easier than you might assume. A phisher can easily copy the code and make an exact replica on the front facing site, but a backend code that copies over financial information and more.
Verify Email Senders – One of the oldest and most popular cyber attacks is through fraudulent email accounts. This is a more direct attack, and unless you know what you’re looking for or check the sender, you might fall victim for these attacks. Google’s Gmail does a good job of filtering out malicious emails but some can still slip through the cracks. Before clicking on links and entering travel, passport, or other sensitive information in, always verify with the sender.
Refrain From Using Public Wifi When Possible –It’s tempting to use public or unsecured networks when traveling, especially when you are abroad. Wifi cuts down on international data and phone costs but can cost you privacy. In the McAfee study, 36% of those surveyed said they were concerned about their personal data being stolen. However, a majority stated they still use public and unsecured wifi connections. Connecting to a public wifi network leaves your devices open to attacks.
If you are the victim of fraud or a breached system Secure Forensics can help. Our team of digital forensic experts can deploy anywhere in the world to assist you. For a free phone consultation, contact us today at 1-800-288-1407.