From hoax free trips to fake rental homes, here are some of the most common online threats you should look out for both before and during your travels.

Once Christmas is passed, we look forward to holidaying in sunnier climates, but it’s also important to keep one eye peeled for internet scams and cyberthreats that will ruin your dream vacation. 

Whilst dreaming about the next time you step onto a plane, make sure you’re aware of the most common holiday scams: 

1) Bogus free vacations- you can’t win a competition you’ve never entered!

2) Clone sites- be aware of phishing emails and fake online sites that look like they might be from well-known travel sites.

3) Discounted tickets/vacations- cybercriminals sometimes offer heavily discounted deals on holidays, flights or packages, which they’ve purchased using stolen credit/debit cards. They may be advertised via social media, or spam emails, and if you buy one, you risk your stay being cancelled or cut short when the fraud is discovered.

4) ‘Help’ with international travel documents- make sure that you are on the correct site when applying for visas, google to see what prices you should be paying before going ahead with permits, international driving licences etc.

5) Fake rental homes- always consider booking your rental home via dedicated reputable sites that offer protection against fake listings.

6) Wi-Fi threats- you’re at an airport, a café or other public space while on the road, resist the urge to log into your banking or other valuable accounts using the free public Wi-Fi, these are not secure, and your personal data could be stolen.

There are plenty of things you can do to stay clear of the above scenarios and stay safe before and during your travels:

  • Do your research: check online for travel companies, hotels, rentals, and travel agents to see if others have been scammed.
  • Never reply to unsolicited communications. If you want to follow-up on an ad, contact the organization directly, and never via the contact details in the email/text/advert.
  • Don’t pay with wire transfers, gift cards, or crypto as these offer no protection for the buyer.
  • Check the URL of any site you visit to ensure there are no typos in there, indicative of a spoofed site.
  • Double check a seller is ATOL protected, to mitigate the risk of any losses from air tickets.
  • Be cautious: if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Don’t visit dark web sites offering heavily discounted vacations and tickets.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi without a virtual private network (VPN) and avoid using public charging stations on the road.

Summer is the most wonderful time of the year for holidaymakers. But remember it could also be a boon for scammers and cybercriminals. Stay safe online and have a great holiday!

Many thanks to ESET for this information and if you would like to read the full article – please visit –