New Age of Travel Scams – What to be On the Lookout For

One of the greatest fears that people have, particularly when they travel abroad, is to get scammed or robbed. Losing your passport, for example, on an international trip is the first step in what’s usually a complex journey to be able to get back home. Some of these petty crimes, like pickpocketing, are still issues that tourists have to contend with. Unfortunately, in the new age of digital crimes, you also have to be on your toes even before you arrive at your destination.

Digital scams are one of the most common ways that criminals are able to take money from would-be travelers. Social media is one of the hotbeds for these types of schemes. The concept is usually very simple. Scammers can create a Facebook page and start sending out fake promotions on airfare or even lodging options. Since it’s very easy to buy followers online, it takes very little work to make the page “believable.”

They usually offer prices for travel packages below the industry average. Some of these are laughable, so when you find something that’s 300 dollars below a regular price, you should think twice about hitting that buy button. The best way to avoid any of these scams is to buy directly from certified sites. That can be any of the popular booking sites, or even directly from the hotels or the airlines themselves.

In some of the worst-case scenarios, people have actually arrived in another country only to find out that the home they rented out doesn’t even exist. Sometimes, these types of scams can even be perpetrated through sites like Airbnb. The “owner” of the property will ask to contact the victim outside the platform and promise a better deal on the side than what they can offer through the site. This is something that Airbnb, in particular, works hard to crack down on—requesting multiple documents to verify the existence of the properties listed on their site.

Travelers are usually better off going through the booking process entirely through the platform. Some of the fees that they’re being charged at least serve to verify that the reservation is set and that the property exists. Another thing that people don’t realize about Airbnb is that their customer support can help you secure another property if the host, for example, cancels at the last minute. Their customer service team is very efficient in dealing with these types of issues.

Another popular social media scam pertains to airline tickets. Again, most of these are perpetrated on social media. Usually, there’s a person on a Facebook group who’s offering a ticket to a specific location. Their backstory includes the reasons why they can’t go on the trip. They ask would-be travelers if they would pay for the transfer of the ticket. In a sense, what they’re saying is that they want to at least get some of their investment back, and that’s why they’re selling a ticket on a transatlantic flight for 150 dollars! The price here is also one of the tells that you’re getting scammed. These should be avoided at all costs, unless it’s a friend and you know that they can’t, in fact, go on a trip. Usually, what scammers do here is that they disappear once the victim has deposited the money. Some of these scams are getting more creative, though. People are providing links to sites where you can potentially see that the ticket is valid. The best way to verify any of this is through the airline! To avoid these scams, it’s essential to only purchase tickets and book rooms through verified sites.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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