Common holiday scams to watch out for as young people are more likely to fall victim

Despite having a stronger IT reputation, young tourists are much more likely to be duped by holiday scams than their older counterparts, according to a new report.

According to data collected by Airnb and GetSafeOnline, around 41% of Britons have been victims of fraud or know people who have been, with those affected losing an average of £1,168.

And vacation fraud is the most common type of scam, after stealing credit card details and phishing.

As the summer season draws ever closer and many are about to fly away after a two-year hiatus, holiday scamming is an issue that should not be ignored.

As Wales Online reported, a fifth of Gen Z Britons – people born between 1997 and 2012 – know someone who has been or was cheated on holidays, compared to 3% of baby boomers.

Amanda Cupples, Airbnb’s Managing Director for the UK and Northern Europe, said: “With significant demand for travel following the lifting of restrictions, we want to make sure these are trips to remember – but for all the right reasons.

“Airbnb uses sophisticated defenses to keep bad actors off the platform, but it’s always possible to be caught off guard by scammers, which is why our work with Get Safe Online to equip people with the tools they need to protect their money remains so important.”

The companies have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to keep you safe online when booking a vacation.

  1. Beware of fake emails, websites, text messages and social media posts : Never click on links you don’t expect. These types of communications, which may have an urgent tone, may lead you to seemingly genuine but bogus websites designed to capture your personal information or infect your device with malware.
  2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is: If you find accommodation on a third party website like a social media platform – especially if the deal or offer seems too good to be true – it could be a scammer. They may encourage you to pay through a direct method like bank transfer or through a fake website.
  3. Don’t rush and take the time to carefully review the details: Scammers may try to force you to book quickly. Before booking accommodation, read host profiles and listings carefully, and review reviews and ratings left by other travelers. You can also contact the host with questions before booking using Airbnb’s secure messaging tool.
  1. Protect your account: Use a different password than those used on other platforms and email accounts.
  2. Do not give anyone a PIN : Submit the security PIN only through the website or app.

In a study by Opinium of 2,000 UK adults, companies found that 30% of men are confident they will never fall for a scam, compared to just 18% of women. With high pent-up demand for travel, scammers are exploiting new ways to target people.

More than half (51%) of Gen Z and 38% of Millennials would use a social media platform to search for accommodation, which has become a popular destination for scammers. Yet 14% of Britons are unaware that scammers operate fake social media accounts and fake online advertisements (15%).

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