Offers that sound too good to be true probably are. It’s an old saw, but one that’s worth revisiting. The too-good-to-be-true offers are most likely fraudulent, according to an alert posted by Europol. The EU’s law enforcement agency warns that holiday fraud peaks during the summer and around fall and winter holidays, as people book their travel plans.
Holiday fraud occurs when scammers pose as travel agents or similar entities and trick vacationers into booking non-existent services. These scams are particularly lucrative and effective since people are spending large amounts of money online while still looking for the cheapest offer.
Europol says that scammers will either take your money and run, or they’ll buy real services using another victim’s stolen credit card and sell those to you.
“In many cases, scamming you is just part of a grander plan,” the alert states. “Criminals will use stolen credit card details to buy legitimate travel services, which they then offer to you at a lower price.”
If you show up to your destination and find that your booking doesn’t exist or has been cancelled, assume you’ve been scammed and contact the police. Also call your bank immediately, since the criminals now have the details of the debit or credit card you paid with. New-school security awareness training can help prevent your employees from falling from these types of scams by teaching them how to verify the legitimacy of online vendors.
Europol has the alert: https://www.europol.europa.eu/2good2btrue