Christmas is without a doubt one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. Paired with attractive last-minute deals, it sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it? But before hopping on a plane to your dream holiday destination, learn how to protect yourself from any scams that might pop-up in your inbox, browser or even mobile phone.
Here are 6 tips to avoid online fraud in your quest for holiday bargains:
- 1. Check the authenticity of your travel agency
30% of web users booking holiday offers online do not confirm the authenticity of travel providers, says Get Safe Online. Research to see if they are a member of a recognized trade association before handing over payment details.
- 2. Don’t fall for fake competition scams
Beware of emails or phone calls claiming you’ve won a luxurious trip and should pay a small fee to book it. It probably doesn’t even exist. Here’s an example of such email scam, that we’ve recently discovered.
- 3. Verify hotel vouchers
Online booking might seem like a breeze, but watch out for agencies requesting money in advance for accommodation vouchers – they may never arrive! Check with your hotel to confirm the reservation.
- 4. Read the fine print
Look for hidden costs and make sure to know exactly what’s included in the offer: service charges, special fees and taxes are typically in the fine print.
- 5. No bragging on Facebook
Ho-ho… hold your enthusiasm! Don’t go public about your vacation details and never mention the date of departure or the number of days away from home. Thieves may take advantage of your absence and break into your place
- 6. Pay using your credit card
When possible, pay for your travel and hotels using your credit card as this offers additional financial protection over other methods.
And, of course, use an effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall before you go online. BullGuard Internet Security 2013 comes with all these protection features and more…
We hope these basic guidelines will help you stay safe and enjoy a relaxing holiday!
Have you ever been a victim of travel scams? Tell us!