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Travelers are warned to be wary of scams during a coronavirus vacation

Vacationers have been warned to look for scams this summer, as criminals take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the travel restrictions on the corona virus.

With many panicking about booking a last-minute trip and not wanting to miss it, potential travelers are more vulnerable to a fall.

UK Finance urges travelers to be aware of holiday scams, including offers for fake caravans and motorhomes, as well as refund offers and travel deals, as fraudsters target victims who want to escape after the July 4 lockdown restrictions are gone.

Fraudsters: Travelers have been warned to exercise caution when booking stays this summer

Fraudsters: Travelers have been warned to exercise caution when booking stays this summer

The industry association has warned consumers about criminals who are experts in posing as trusted organizations such as airlines, travel agents or banks.

Such tactics to scam people include scam emails, phone calls, fake websites, and social media and auction sites.

Katy Worobec, economic finance director at UK Finance, said, ‘Criminals will abuse the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s vacation plans to commit fraud, whether it be fake car ads or pretending to offer refunds for canceled flee.

“The banking and financial sector is working closely with law enforcement officers to address this cruel scam, but we also need others to play their part.

It’s important for auction websites and social platforms to take swift action to remove fraudulent messages and mentions used to promote holiday scams.

Criminals Could Try To Trick People With Phishing Emails Claiming To Reimburse Airlines For The Offer

Criminals Could Try To Trick People With Phishing Emails Claiming To Reimburse Airlines For The Offer

Criminals Could Try To Trick People With Phishing Emails Claiming To Reimburse Airlines For The Offer

Always be on the lookout for bank transfer requests when buying goods or services online and use the secure payment options recommended by reputable websites instead.

It’s also important to question emails, phone calls or social media posts that offer refunds for canceled holidays and not click on links or attachments if it’s a scam.

“Instead, contact organizations directly to confirm requests through a known email address or phone number as found on their official website.”

There are three scams to watch out for:

False refunds for cancellations

Due to the current travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, thousands of customers have requested refunds for canceled flights or holidays.

Criminals are likely to abuse this situation to cheat people with phishing emails, “forged” calls or social media posts, and ads claiming to offer refunds from airlines, travel providers, or banks.

Many have experienced this scam after both Thomas Cook and Flybe recently stopped trading.

Often emails and messages contain links to fake websites used to steal personal and financial information that can infect a victim’s device with malware.

Criminals can also create fake social media accounts that mimic those of the real organization and often claim to help with refunds.

The links in the messages lead consumers to fake websites that request their personal and financial information. However, once entered, they will not receive a refund.

If in doubt, contact your airline or booking provider directly before opening an unreliable email.

Always remember:

– Do not click on links or attachments in social media posts or emails.

– Ask for uninvited approaches and contact organizations directly to confirm requests using a known email address or phone number.

– Only pass on your personal or financial information to services that you have consented to and that you expect to be contacted.

Criminals can set up fake websites that offer 'cheap travel deals' to get your money

Criminals can set up fake websites that offer 'cheap travel deals' to get your money

Criminals can set up fake websites that offer ‘cheap travel deals’ to get your money

Cheap travel scams

Criminals will set up fake websites that offer ‘cheap travel deals’ that are used to obtain your money and information.

Websites may look the same as the real organization, but subtle changes to the URL may indicate it is fraudulent.

These websites may also seem professional and compelling, often with images of luxury villas and apartments that don’t exist to convince victims that they are trusted and genuine.

These are offered for rent, often at discounted prices, and require a deposit that is never returned.

Always remember:

– Be suspicious of ‘too good to be true’ offers or prices – if it’s a bottom price, ask yourself why.

– Whenever possible, use a credit card when booking holidays over £ 100 and up to £ 30,000 as you receive protection under Section 75.

– Use the secure payment options recommended by online travel providers and do not accept requests to pay separately via bank transfer.

– Read online reviews from reputable sources to verify that websites and bookings are legitimate.

– Go to the website you are buying from by typing it into the web browser and avoid clicking links in unsolicited emails.

Caravan scams

Due to the current lock restrictions that make it difficult for people to travel abroad, there has been an increase in the number of people buying caravans and motorhomes because they choose staycations.

One of the scams likely to take place over the summer is that fraudsters are promoting fake listings for caravans and motorhomes on auction sites.

Criminals are taking advantage of the growing demand for staycations in the UK this summer with these fake ads, citing restrictions because vehicles cannot be viewed in person.

These vehicles are offered at attractive prices to trick people into believing they are getting a good deal when in reality they simply don’t exist or don’t arrive once paid.

Payments are usually made via bank transfer, rather than through a recommended secure payment method. But recently, criminals have been asking the buyer to pay with PayPal.

The criminal then does not send a PayPal invoice, after which the buyer is approached by someone posing as a PayPal representative and receiving a reference and bank account number for payment.

Ultimately, the buyer doesn’t receive their goods because the payment was transferred to an account managed by a criminal, so customers should look out for scams.

Criminals advertise fake offers for caravans and motorhomes on auction sites

Criminals advertise fake offers for caravans and motorhomes on auction sites

Criminals advertise fake offers for caravans and motorhomes on auction sites

Always remember:

– Be suspicious of ‘too good to be true’ offers or prices – if it’s a bottom price, ask yourself why.

– Do your research before making purchases and ask to see vehicles via video if you cannot see them in person.

– Use the secure payment methods recommended by reputable online retailers and auction sites and do not accept requests to pay separately via bank transfer.

– Whenever possible, use a credit card for purchases over £ 100 and up to £ 30,000 as you receive protection under Section 75.

John Crossley, head of money at Compare the Market, said, “It’s more important than ever that people stay cautious online.

“Our research shows that a significant proportion of people have seen an increase in scams during incarceration as fraudsters try to take advantage of the current situation.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it’s worth a closer look before entering your map data.

There are steps you can take to reduce your vulnerability to scammers, especially as more of us are shopping online than ever before.

“If you think you have been a victim of a scam, or you notice a scam, report the matter to Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber ​​Crime Reporting Center.”

Other scams to watch out for

There are many scams used by fraudsters who want to take advantage of travelers who book a summer vacation. Here are some others to watch out for:

Reputable websites: Consumers should always make sure to use reputable sites when booking travel.

One way to check a site is legitimate by looking for a padlock next to the URL. This means that a site is encrypted so that browsing or payments cannot be intercepted.

Look at online reviews of the site – this should quickly tell you if people have had problems or lost money if it is run by fraudsters.

If the site tells you to pay by bank transfer, it’s probably not legit. At least if you pay with a debit or credit card, you have a chance of getting your money back if something goes wrong.

False mentions: Another way that criminals try to rip you off is with fake mentions. This can be on any vacation booking site where photos of properties that look real are actually just scammed from another website on the internet.

Fraudsters will try to convince you to book these nonexistent properties, but they’ll just take your money instead.

To avoid booking with one of these fake listings, make sure the landlord’s contact information is there. If it does then it’s likely to be incorrect as many sites including Airbnb prohibit their users from posting email addresses and phone numbers.

If the property seems too cheap to be true, it probably is. If a listing wants you to pay through another platform, for example through a wire transfer, it’s probably a scam.

Scam insurance offers: The Association of British Insurers warned consumers earlier this year that they should be aware of people offering fake insurance products.

It advised people to be wary of robocalls or automated texts falsely claiming to be legitimate regular insurance companies.

They can claim for a fee that they can help recover losses by making a claim for the cost of a vacation or event such as a wedding canceled due to coronavirus.

Consumers should also be aware of ghost brokers – fraudsters who may attempt to use an insurer’s brand name to promote and sell false or invalid insurance products, including products such as travel and business interruptions that claim to provide COVID-19 protection.

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