Vacanze estive e truffe online: come difendersi? I nostri consigli thumbnail

Summer holidays and online scams: how to defend yourself? Our advice

It is perceived: this, after two years necessarily interlocutors, is a summer in which everyone has a great desire – repressed for too long – to travel.

And finally you can do it freely. Because if it is true that Covid is raising its head again, it is equally true that almost all the rules and prohibitions that previously made it difficult to move have fallen, especially from country to country.

Unfortunately, these highly anticipated summer vacations bring with them the danger of scams. And it is not a metaphor to refer to the (albeit palpable) increase in prices, due to a series of well-known causes, largely coming from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

We are talking about the online scams, which with the summer holidays come in good numbers and in different guises. Let’s see what they are and, above all, let’s understand how to defend ourselves.


Summer vacations and online scams

The desire for holidays makes us pay particular attention to emails and messages on social networks that promise accommodation at low prices. Sometimes, suspiciously low. And in fact, it is often neither more nor less than scams.

Attempts to deceive go through phishing. That is a type of scam with which one tries, via email or text message, to deceive the victim by convincing him to provide personal information (financial data or login credentials). And the best part, so to speak, is that the more credible the scammer is, the more phishing gets the desired effect.

The index of Bitdefender

As we told in a recent article, a Bitdefender investigation has dealt with the numerous scam emails related to summer holidays.

There are two other ways that are increasingly used by cybercriminals. One is to use the so-called phishing baits. That is, keywords related to summer holidays for surveys and alleged gifts of gift cards (for the purpose of actually stealing data from users).

And there is always the classic use of malicious websites, which report the sending of urgent messages of invoices or credit card transactions. The user who falls for it downloads a malware on his device.

A new tool is to present themselves as famous (and therefore highly credible) international hotel chains or tour operators. But if a user enters the communication, he receives a Trojan capable of stealing credentials.

There is no shortage of fraudulent promises of free flight hours, all-inclusive offers at bargain prices and even free airline tickets.

The Hermes report

Another report, this time by Hermes, confirms the fact that online scams change their target during the summer holidays.

“From April to today, hackers have changed their target: in this period, in fact, the attacks move from e-commerce sites to travel sites by exploiting the trust in online booking and low budget, designing malicious campaigns which, close to the summer season, have risen dangerously by over 20%.

The target of the hackers? Getting hold of shoppers’ credit card data, stealing their digital identity and sensitive information by targeting the likes of Booking, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, British Airways and LOT, already targeted by cybercriminals in the past, but also companies, as more and more people make online reservations from company devices “.

How to defend yourself?

The rules for defending against summer vacation-themed online scams are simple. But – as happens for example for the rules to be followed for backups, or to create data theft-proof passwords – they are often ignored, because the risks are naively underestimated.

It is therefore good to do a brief review, remembering then that it is better to pay more attention than… a late repentance.

Ermes provides a creative and intelligent advice: that of create an email address for travel only. Either to have all holiday documentation neatly organized, or because “a separate email address reduces the likelihood of leaving traces of sensitive information such as bank statements or pay slips.”

Bitdefender then reminds us of use only reputable platforms to book holidays, and ignore emails that offer us discounts if we are unsure of the sender.

Furthermore, grammatical and spelling errors are excellent signs that – in all probability – a scam is hidden behind the communication that has reached us.

Timeless advice

E then there are the old, but never out of date, advice. That is:

  • never provide your credit card number or sensitive information during a phone call with a travel agency
  • never use bank wire or cryptocurrency transfers to pay for your booking
  • use a credit card or PayPal account, so that you can easily dispute any fraudulent charges
  • install an antivirus with anti-fraud and anti-phishing filtering systems against dangerous emails and sites. And keep it updated
  • always make sure the contract or accommodation exists before making payment.
Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.