Cybersecurity experts at Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence division of Check Point Software, sound the alarm: it is boom in air travel scams. The phenomenon is said to be growing and, according to what we know, the methods of scam are the usual ones: phishing attacks.
For those who don’t know what we’re talking about, the Phishing is a sneaky social engineering tactic used by scammers. These pretend to be institutions, individuals, banks or, as in this case, airlines. To do this, they create credible accounts, which to the more casual eye may seem like an official contact. Phishing messages, sent via email or more rarely via SMS, usually contain malicious links. Once the URL is clicked, the cybercriminals manage to gain access to the victim’s personal data or, in the worst case, install malware on the infected devices.
This is how air travel scams happen
Taking advantage of the current situation of global inflation, which has led airlines to increase ticket prices, scammers rely on users’ constant search for low-cost and last-minute offers. In this way, cybercriminals create fake accounts of real airlines, sending unsuspecting users with tempting offers for low-cost travel. Obviously, the phishing attack contains the inevitable malicious link which, instead of redirecting to the promised offer (which doesn’t actually exist) leads to the malicious page.
CPR reminds us that phishing scams remain one of the main techniques used to lure users into providing their data. Most of the time the victims are financial subjects or exponents of infrastructures of interest (such as banks and credit institutions). Despite this, everyone can be targeted by scammers.
Here are five simple tips to defend yourself against online travel scams:
- Be wary of the most amazing offers
- Use secure payment methods
- Check for the presence of the “https”
- Make sure you know who you are buying from
- Check the web addresses