NCIS Alert: Peak time for travel scams

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NCIS Alert: Peak time for travel scams

With Covid-19-related travel restrictions loosening, pleasure-seeking travelers are booking plane tickets, accommodations and tours with a vengeance. However, phishers, scammers and malware peddlers are ready to take advantage of the summer holiday season. According to a special advisory from Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the deluge of travel-themed spam that started in March is expected to reach its peak in June.

Travel-themed spam to look out for

Scammers often include links to fake sites impersonating popular booking platforms. That’s nothing new. The current trend includes ticket giveaways, gift cards, bonus miles, fake booking confirmations, bargains or sales, holiday rentals and all-inclusive packages.

The travel-themed phishing lures include keywords related to summer vacation and reference or impersonate well-known airline companies such as Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines and organizations in the hospitality and tourism industry such as Accor Hotels, Panorama Tours, Meritus Hotels, and others.

Victims are urged to fill out surveys and enter their personal information into phishing sites,or to download invoices and messages that are actually malware.

The Takeaway

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Other than that, look out for poorly written emails (they are likely phishes or scams), check the legitimacy of a deal before paying and don’t pay by wire or cryptocurrency transfer.

Credit card or PayPal should be your preferred payment method as it’s easier to dispute fraudulent charges. Don’t give out your payment card info or sensitive data over the phone to anyone and don’t click on links or download attachments in unsolicited emails.

Glad to hear that people are getting back out there to travel again. Just be safe out there.

-A