Travel

Travel In Depth

United States Travel Scam Statistics 2020


$175 million lost
73k fraud reports

53% of total losses

Source: 2019-20 Consumer Sentinel Report

We all love getting away from the grind and spoiling ourselves with some well-deserved rest and relaxation. You get to meet many wonderful people whilst travelling, however you have to be vigilant to stay safe and avoid scammers. When you leave your familiar home environment scammers try to take advantage of the fact that you are out of your comfort zone. Some of the scams to watch out for include:

Taxi Scams

Nearly everyone that has been overseas has probably been witness to a taxi driver that tried to overcharge them or claim that their meter is broken or drive them “the long way” to their destination. It is a particularly common scam at airports catching out new arrivals. This scam can often be avoided with a little bit of preparation. If you are staying in a reputable hotel, it is a good idea to contact them before you arrive and ask them about the best way to get to them and what is the approximate cost. Check the route using Google maps so you can gauge the length of the trip and approximate travel time. Use licensed taxis and if they tell you their meter is broken politely decline and find another driver. Always be courteous but firm and speak up if you feel like something is not right.

Motorbike or Jetski scam

This scam is most commonly reported in parts of southeast Asia. Operators rent out equipment like jet skis or motorbikes to tourists. In some cases, scammers take passports or drivers licenses as part of the deposit. When you return the rental, the operator claims that you have damaged the equipment and they pressure you into paying for the repairs. This is a tricky one to avoid and if you get caught up in it you may have to pay you way out particularly if the scammers start getting aggressive. The most important thing is never ever hand over personal items like your passport, credit card, keys or driver’s license to someone that you don’t know.

Credit Card Skimming

Scammers use a "card skimmer" to steal your credit card information from the magnetic strip on that back of your card. Skimmers can be attached to any credit card reading device including ATM's to harvest the data and use it to commit fraud. In the case of ATM's scammers will hide a camera to record people entering their pin numbers. Most credit cards now have a chip so the magnetic strip is just a back up. The chip  allows contactless payment "tap and go" instead of inserting your card into a machine. If you have a phone or smartwatch with NFC you can pay via Apple Pay or Google Pay which have additional security so your data is not exposed. If you notice unusual transactions on your credit card report it to your bank of financial institution immediately. 

Free WiFi

Many of us need to be connected at all times, and many of the services that we use rely on an internet connection. When you are travelling your cell phone service provider may allow international roaming, or you buy a SIM plan from a local provider. Many of these plans have will have restrictions on data and/or the cost of data is much higher.  This means you might become more reliant on WiFi services. Many public places like airports, cafes, and grocery stores offer free WiFi internet connections. While it is tempting to quickly login to check social media, read the news, check your bank account or send a few messages to friends, it is not worth the risk. Scammers use a number of tactics including hacking into the networks or creating similar named networks to trick you into logging in, to steal your personal data. The best advice is don't use public WiFi but if you have to you should always use a VPN service which will encrypt your data. 

Holiday Rental Listing Scam

We all want to find that dream holiday rental, booking can be competitive and when you find a place you like, you want to lock it in before anyone else does. Scammers use a few tactics including creating fake listings, hijacking a real listing and posting them on other rental websites with their contact details or hijacking the email account fo the listing agent or property owner. If they ask you to wire money  for any kind of upfront payment like a security deposit it is probably a scam. There are a few things you can do to check that the listing is legitimate. Search other rental websites to see if the same property is available and cross check the contact details. Find the details of the agent on the web and call their office direct to verify the listing. book through established travel booking sites and use their credit card facilities for payment.

Scams Relating to Travel

Sort by:
TSA PreCheck Renewal: Beware of Scam Emails
17 November 2021 |

TSA PreCheck Renewal: Beware of Scam Emails

If it's time to renew your TSA PreCheck membership, visit the TSA website directly versus clicking a link in an email—a new scam is underway targeting PreCheck members.

Uber Cancellation Fee Scams: Beware of Sketchy Uber Drivers
17 August 2021 |

Uber Cancellation Fee Scams: Beware of Sketchy Uber Drivers

If your Uber driver is a no-show, be sure you follow up and make sure you're not charged a cancellation fee—you could be falling into a scammer's trap.

Beware of Airbnb Damage Scams: Take Photos of Your Rental
10 August 2021 |

Beware of Airbnb Damage Scams: Take Photos of Your Rental

Before you settle into your Airbnb, take as many photos and videos of it first—it could save you a lot of money and hassle in the future.

How to Beat Airbnb Payment Scams That Can Leave You Stranded
30 July 2021 |

How to Beat Airbnb Payment Scams That Can Leave You Stranded

When booking your next travel destination via Airbnb, be sure to always pay using the site's online system, or you could be scammed out of your money.

Scams in Other Categories...
Tips to Avoid Fake Lottery Tickets Being Sold as "Winners"
12 January 2022 |

Tips to Avoid Fake Lottery Tickets Being Sold as "Winners"

Always be wary of strangers trying to sell you "winning" lottery tickets that they can't cash in—they're more than likely trying to scam you out of hundreds of dollars.

Cash App Rental Scam: Don't Fall For These Common Tricks
11 January 2022 |

Cash App Rental Scam: Don't Fall For These Common Tricks

Scammers are taking advantage of renters desperate and in a rush to find a new home, stealing thousands from innocent people.

Genuine Navy Federal Email Or a Fake? 6 Ways to Spot a Scam

Genuine Navy Federal Email Or a Fake? 6 Ways to Spot a Scam

Be careful before clicking on links in Navy Federal emails—scammers impersonate the popular credit union in an attempt to steal your information.

Received an Amazon OTP Text? It Could Be a Scam
22 December 2021 |

Received an Amazon OTP Text? It Could Be a Scam

If you received an Amazon OTP text message out of the blue, it could be a sign that someone else is trying to log into your account.

Be On Alert for Fake COVID-19 Tests That Rip You Off

Be On Alert for Fake COVID-19 Tests That Rip You Off

Need to get tested? Only get tested at healthcare facilities or pharmacies, or buy at-home tests that are FDA-approved.

Amazon OTP Delivery Email: Protection Against Fraud
20 December 2021 |

Amazon OTP Delivery Email: Protection Against Fraud

You can fight scammers who order big-ticket items from your Amazon account with a one-time password that stops them from receiving the item.

Guides Relating to Travel

Sort by:
Restrictions & Guidelines for Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
20 December 2021 |

Restrictions & Guidelines for Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the holiday season approaches, be sure you understand the COVID-19 rules and restrictions for the city you're visiting so you can enjoy your vacation.

Airline Secrets: How Much is Your Delayed Baggage Worth?
30 November 2021 |

Airline Secrets: How Much is Your Delayed Baggage Worth?

Landing in a city without your bags can mean extra costs to replace your items. But according to airline fine print, you may be entitled to up to $3,800 to cover purchases.

Direct or Third-Party: What is The Best Way to Book Hotels?
19 October 2021 |

Direct or Third-Party: What is The Best Way to Book Hotels?

We break down the pros and cons of booking a room through a hotel’s website or using third-party sites to secure the best deals and why.

Guides in Other Categories...
Is Diet Coke Bad For You?

Is Diet Coke Bad For You?

Diet coke may be the best option if you’re counting calories but is it actually doing more harm than good?

How to Get Verified on Instagram (And Increase Your Chances)
19 January 2022 |

How to Get Verified on Instagram (And Increase Your Chances)

Are you looking to get that verified tick on your Instagram profile? Here's what you need to do and everything you'll need.

News Relating to Travel

Sort by:
News in Other Categories...
$30M Worth in Counterfeit Goods Seized in Los Angeles
2 December 2021 |

$30M Worth in Counterfeit Goods Seized in Los Angeles

Fake Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton handbags and clothing were just some of the items found in a large shipment of counterfeit goods coming in from China.

RobinHood Customers Are About to Be Phished—Here's What it Will Look Like (Examples)
18 November 2021 |

RobinHood Customers Are About to Be Phished—Here's What it Will Look Like (Examples)

Robinhood's latest data breach of 5 million email addresses means that Robinhood users are about to encounter a wave of phishing attempts.

Robinhood Users: Look Out for Scams Following Data Breach
9 November 2021 |

Robinhood Users: Look Out for Scams Following Data Breach

Robinhood recently suffered a massive data breach, exposing the information of millions of users.

$3.38 Million Lost in Squid Game Cryptocurrency Scam
2 November 2021 |

$3.38 Million Lost in Squid Game Cryptocurrency Scam

Jumping on a social media or entertainment trend isn't always a good idea, especially when it comes to cryptocurrency.

UK Teen Uses Google Ads to Lure Victims to His Scam Website
28 October 2021 |

UK Teen Uses Google Ads to Lure Victims to His Scam Website

A teenager was found guilty of money laundering and fraud after scamming several people out of thousands of dollars.