Ashley Moody Warns Florida Residents of Rising Travel Scams
Florida State Attorney General, Ashley Moody, has issued a warning to residents about a concerning scam that has been on the rise. As the year comes to a close, many travelers are falling victim to hackers who are taking advantage of the holiday season to deceive unsuspecting individuals making online travel bookings.
Experts have noted that this is an opportune time for scammers, as the trend of making travel reservations online continues to grow. In fact, in 2022 alone, online travel bookings reached a staggering 798 billion. With such a large market, hackers are constantly developing new methods to exploit unsuspecting travelers, leaving them financially devastated.
Protecting Yourself from Travel Scams
To help individuals avoid falling victim to these scams, Ashley Moody has shared some crucial tips. One common scam involves fake websites that closely resemble legitimate ones. These websites attract customers with enticing discounts and unbelievably low prices.
Once a customer falls for the scam and makes a payment, the shell company behind the fake website disappears, leaving the victim without a reservation confirmation or proof of payment. Moody warns that scammers also employ phishing emails and calls, posing as representatives of travel companies to extract personal information and payment details from unsuspecting individuals.
Another tactic scammers use is false advertisements on popular websites for vacation rentals. These ads often offer irresistible discounts, luring potential travelers into their trap. To avoid falling victim to these scams, it is crucial to thoroughly verify the legitimacy of the company and website offering the service. Always look for secure links with a lock symbol next to the URL and use credit cards for additional anti-fraud protection.
Florida State Attorney General, Ashley Moody, has issued a warning to residents about a rising travel scam targeting online travel bookings. As the holiday season approaches, hackers are taking advantage of the trend in online reservations to deceive unsuspecting individuals. Online travel bookings have reached a staggering 798 billion in 2022, making it an opportune time for scammers to exploit travelers. Moody has provided tips to protect oneself from falling victim to these scams, including verifying the legitimacy of websites, looking for secure links with a lock symbol, and using credit cards for additional anti-fraud protection.
Why are hackers targeting online travel bookings and what can travelers do to protect themselves
Online travel bookings are a lucrative target for hackers for a few reasons. Firstly, they often involve large transactions, making them attractive for financial gain. Additionally, travel websites store a wealth of personal and financial information about travelers, including credit card details, passport numbers, and travel itineraries, which can be used for identity theft or sold on the dark web.
To protect themselves, travelers can take several measures. Firstly, they should ensure they are using secure websites to make online bookings. They can look for the padlock symbol in the browser address bar, indicating a secure connection. It is also advisable to use well-known and reputable travel websites or platforms.
Travelers should create strong, unique passwords for their online travel accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. They should avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for making bookings as these networks are often unsecured, and hackers can intercept personal information.
Regularly monitoring bank statements and credit card activity is vital to detect any unauthorized transactions quickly. Travelers should also consider using virtual credit cards, which generate a unique credit card number for each transaction, reducing the risk of fraud.
Lastly, travelers should be cautious about sharing personal information or clicking on suspicious links or attachments in emails related to travel bookings. Phishing emails and fake booking websites are common tactics used by hackers to trick users into providing their sensitive information.
By staying vigilant, using secure platforms, and adopting strong security practices, travelers can minimize the risk of falling victim to hackers targeting online travel bookings.