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Beware of these summertime travel frauds



Indianapolis, Indiana – Nothing can ruin a fun family vacation like finding you’ve been duped by a cunning con artist who preys on unwary tourists eager to enjoy themselves.

Currently, a number of frauds are active and seek to profit on recent issues at the country’s airports. Another person tries to wake you up in the middle of the night.

“HR vacation approval” is one well-known fraud. In this scam, the con artist emails you under the guise of your HR department and requests that you check the company’s list of approved vacation days. Although the email may seem legitimate, it actually directs you to a bogus website where your internet data is being collected.

Another con pretends to be an airline and offers you money to claim as a result of a recent flight cancellation. An example of the email subject line would be “Flight Delay Compensation U.S. $135.”

Obviously, you’ll recognize this as spam right away if you haven’t had a flight canceled. However, the hackers will have more than 100,000 victims if they can mislead just 1% of Southwest Airlines customers from the previous year.

Another con wants to literally wake you up at night. Around 3 a.m., you receive a call in your hotel room. The person on the phone claims there was an issue with your check-in and they need to run your credit card once more. You might quickly reach for your wallet in your sleepy haze and read them the card details to cure the problem and go back to sleep. The caller, who may be on the other side of the planet, is actually calling from another location, and while you are still sleeping, they will use your credit card to commit a variety of crimes.

If you receive that call, it’s better to respond by promising to come down to the front desk at a convenient time and handle the situation there.

Trend Micro advises you to confirm the accuracy of any information you get via email in order to safeguard yourself from additional travel scams. Contact the airline or any business you were working with directly rather than clicking a link you received.

Additionally, keep an eye out for phony domain names for websites. A clear warning sign is if the words “Expedia” or “Travelocity” are spelled incorrectly. Watch out for the “padlock” and “S” at the start of a web domain as well. If it begins with “https,” it means it complies with global security standards, as indicated by the padlock. You should avoid visiting that website if there is no “S” or “padlock.”