Now that summer is under way, it’s a peak season for consumers to travel and attend concerts, sporting events and other forms of ticketed entertainment. In fact, according to a recent study by Orbitz.com, nearly 90 percent of Americans plan to travel this summer.
Unfortunately, the high volume of travel plans and tickets purchased online offers cyber criminals the opportunity to target consumers, travel and ticketing websites for personal profit.
To help consumers protect themselves from online fraud at the during summer leisure activities, there are several scams to be aware of. These include:
Nearly five million people purchase event tickets (for concerts, sporting events, theme parks, etc.) that turn out to be fraudulent each year. To be safe, consumers should purchase tickets only from official event websites or approved resellers. Be wary of purchasing tickets from untrusted third parties, classified ad sites or scalpers.
Malicious links when streaming
While non-official websites may claim to be faster or commercial-free, viewers should refrain from streaming on these sites in case any of the links are malicious, allowing cybercriminals to remotely download malware to viewers’ devices. Consumers who do not have the opportunity to attend major events this summer and choose to stream online should only doing so from official event websites.
Search Engine Poisoning
When searching for event information, make sure not to click on random links to third-party websites. Only click on links to the official event website, news websites, and other authentic sources to assure personal computers and mobile devices are not compromised by cybercriminals.
Unrealistic airfare or hotel deals
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Travelers should be on the lookout for deals touting things like, “stay one night, stay the rest of the week free!”
Nonexistent vacation rentals
As renting personal apartments and homes becomes increasingly popular for travelers, consumers should be extra cautious of where they rent vacation homes from. In many cases, cybercriminals set up fraudulent online travel sites or deals to con travelers into booking nonexistent rentals or double booking.
While consumers must take all necessary precautions to assure they don’t get burned by cyber criminals while traveling or attending attending major events this summer, vacation and ticketing businesses must also work to protect customers by differentiating between good and bad actors across all online transactions. These businesses can do so by leveraging a global trusted identity network to access fraud intelligence in real time.
For more information on summer travel and ticketing scams, check out an infographic with additional details on this topic.
© 2014 American City Business Journals, Inc.