Booking online has certainly made traveling easier. However, it is also more dangerous if we are not careful. There are a number of online travel scams you need to watch out for. This piece lists some of the more common online traveling scams and how to avoid them.
It may sound unbelievable, but there are many websites that look real and trustworthy, but are, in fact, fake. This means that an unsuspecting victim would book a ticket for a trip, receive it, and then find that they are unable to redeem it as there is no transportation available, the hotel doesn’t recognize the booking, and other evidence that shows you you have been tricked.
Before booking a ticket on a site, regardless of how legitimate it seems, you need to make sure the site itself is authentic. There are several ways to do this. Sometimes, the sites in question have unusual characters in their name or are a variation of the existing site. For example, let’s say that the legitimate booking site is holidaytravelmadesimple (this is just an example, as, at the time of writing, we’ve found no such website). A fake website would have misspellings, new words, and new characters. Also, make sure you find the https at the beginning of the website.
Legitimate businesses know that this practice has a bad reputation. In these scams, victims are messaged with amazing offers for free, provided they give some of their information. You will find that the trip to Disneyland you just won is nothing but a ruse. Don’t give out any information to businesses you have not dealt with in the past, particularly if they offer things that are too good to be true. It may be too strong to say that nothing is free, but this is how these scams operate.
It is perfectly natural to try and find a bargain when it comes to accommodations. Sometimes, people are so desperate to save a few bucks that they try the unconventional means to obtain a deal, like browsing craigslist, for example. The scammers know that there are people that seem careful with how they spend their money, so they often put up houses and rooms that are slightly cheaper than those on official sites and platforms.
To counter finding yourself without a place to stay, avoid making deals on your own and go through official channels. Furthermore, if you are insistent on doing everything yourself, see if the location in question is listed as a viable place to stay on an official listing and check out whether the price offered by the ad matches the official record.
On your trip, you will be tempted to use any type of Wi-Fi you can get your hands on. However, you should abstain from doing so, especially if you are going to transmit any type of sensitive information, like your credit card number, while you are connected.
Sometimes, scammers create their own Wi-Fi networks that are similar in name to real businesses, like hotels and restaurants. If you are unsure whether the network you are using is a secure one, abstain from transmitting anything that might lead to your bank account being drained or your personal information stolen.