Escape to the sun this summer, but first “get our last minute advice on holiday and ticket fraud for free”, Europol says.
Does that flash sale offer on a holiday package or last minute ticket sound too good to be true? Then it probably is. You might end up with a non-existent, fraudulent or cancelled booking. Before you buy it, beware of holiday and ticket fraud.
From fraudulent flights to non-existent bookings, holiday fraud is a big business for scammers and is most frequent during peak holiday times, such as summer. Holiday makers need to be aware of this fraud.
To that end, Europol rolled out last week its #2good2Btrue campaign on social media: a number of attractive visuals advertising bargain holiday deals were shared on a number of social media platforms. Upon clicking on them, the user was redirected towards a dedicated prevention page on Europol’s website offering guidelines to avoid falling victim of holiday fraud.
“A number of visuals were specifically designed for the 2018 World Cup, as high in demand sporting and music events have proven to be popular targets for fraudsters. In total, the visuals received almost 10 000 post engagements, including clicks to the page.”, according to the press release.
Look Before You Book
Here are some tips to make sure you do not become the next victim of a too good to be true holiday offer:
Go official – Book a holiday directly with an airline or hotel, or through a reputable agent/tour operator. Look for the IATA logo on the company’s website.
Do your research – Do a thorough online search to ensure the company is legitimate. If they’re suspect, other people may well have posted their experiences warning people off.
Stay safe online – Pay special attention to the website name and domain. Small changes in the name or domain – such as going from .com to .eu can direct you to a completely different company.
Pay safe – Check that the website uses a secure payment system and the secure communication protocol (https) for the booking procedure.
Use your instincts – If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Report it – Keep all the evidence and report it to your national police right away.