Online Travel Scams Are Causing Chaos Amid Post-Pandemic Tourism Boom

Online Travel Scams Are Causing Chaos Amid Post-Pandemic Tourism Boom
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Torsten Dettlaff

We've heard countless stories about how people are being duped online into booking their travel tickets from a third-party website. Despite being aware that such scams exist, people are still registering through such portals, carelessly depositing money and then waiting for refunds that may never come. Since the travel industry has had a massive boom after the COVID-19 crisis, scammers are devising new ways to trick people online, especially by acting as third-party hosts or travel agencies.

These agencies offer to book hotels and flights for potential customers, along with planning their itineraries and budgets, making it seem all the more enticing for busy professionals or elderly citizens who want help with all the legwork. However, the blind faith that people bestow on such portals is what leads them to lose a sizable amount of their money. Here's how you can avoid getting duped and enjoy that perfect vacation that you've always planned for.

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Pexels | Leeloo Thefirst
Image Source: Leeloo Thefirst/Pexels 

How to identify common travel scams

Travel scams are one of the most common scams to ever take place, considering a large part of the planning takes place online. People often select portals that guide them through the entire process and may end up suggesting packages for them to select from. Here's how you can stop getting scammed through such portals.

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Do you want to go to Bali and bask in its sunny glory? However, before exploring options and itineraries suitable for your perfect vacation, conduct a thorough research about your portal or agency first. Reviewing customer feedback and ratings can be a good way to proceed. Credible travel agencies like Expedia and Booking.com always have a steady backup and dedicated customer service to help you through the entire process.

Pexels | Vlada Karpovich
Not giving proper receipts/acknowledgments

When hiring travel agencies, people are usually inquisitive about the package details, travel plans, and itinerary plans. These packages come with their own set of receipts and invoices that may come in handy later and serve as proof of financial transactions being held between the concerned parties. If an agency is delivering fake receipts without proper formatting or is not interested in dispensing receipts, that can also be a potential sign to not engage with such portals. 

Also Read: Everything You Need to Know About the Top Fraud Trends of 2024

Image ource: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels
Image ource: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Watch out for flashy websites

Scammers usually design their websites in a way that can tempt the masses and compel them to share their sensitive data with the concerned portal. If the website looks too good, but is generally empty in terms of ratings and reviews, and lacks a proper structure, you might want to block the site without sharing any of your data.

Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Tara Winstead
Image Source: Tara Winstead/Pexels 

Portals asking for sensitive data
If a website, agency, or portal is bent on asking for personal information such as emails, contact information, or bank details before sharing the itinerary or budget details, that's a huge red flag and you should proceed with caution.

Image Source: Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay
Image Source: Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

Opting for safe and secure agencies with a steady, verifiable background should always be a priority. Conducting thorough research on your options and browsing through dependable portals can help you enjoy the holiday you always planned for. Till then, travel safely by protecting yourselves from such lucrative scams.

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