Travel Scams

There are a million things to think about while you travel. Unfortunately, you can add scams to the list! Scammers create fake rental ads and too-good-to-be-true hotel offers to entice you while you book your trip. Your risk of scam exposure while you’re on your trip increases due to the use of public wifi, and event ticket scams. Scams and online fraud can happen to anyone, but good news! We’ve compiled a quick-list of red flags and recovery steps to help you travel safely.

Rental Scams:

Red Flags

If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Look out for multiple listings for the same rental, hotel, etc. with different prices.

Unverified listings; be sure to check if the user posting the offer is verified. Sites like AirBnb will allow you to check reviews and see if the host has been verified through the app.

If email offers you a “free” trip, consider it a big red flag. 


If the offer turned out to be fake, report the loss to your financial institution and the fake listing to the site it was posted on immediately. Visit our timeshare/travel scam recovery page to learn how to report the crime. 

Phishing emails will use social engineering to get you to click on a malicious link. By offering “free” trips or “limited time” offers, they instill a sense of urgency in the receiver. If you clicked on a link like this, you’re not alone! You’ll need to run a virus scan, report any stolen information, and monitor your credit score. For in-depth instructions, visit our phishing recovery page. For a free consultation to detect viruses and malware, contact My Computer Works.

Wi-Fi Risks:

Red Flags

Your computer begins running slowly.

Your webcam activates without your permission.

You begin noticing your browser behaving differently: unrecognized tabs, pop-ups, etc. These are all red flags that may alert you someone has hacked your device. Using public Wi-Fi puts you at a greater risk to be hacked.


First, disconnect the device from the internet. When you turn it back on, restart it in “Safe Mode”. You can find detailed instructions on these steps here.

Be sure to report the incident immediately.

Using public Wi-Fi unprotected is risky. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to establish a private, secure connection while you travel. Our individual security solutions offer a range of products to help you improve your cybersecurity after you recover from an incident like this. 

Event/Ticket Scams:

Red Flags

Ticket prices are substantially lower than other tickets for the same event. 

You never received a confirmation email letting you know that your purchase was successful.

You bought tickets on an unregulated site, like a social media marketplace, and never heard from the seller again after payment.


Report the incident to your financial institution and to the site you purchased the tickets on. 

Visit the FTC’s tips to help you get your money back.

If you still have time to purchase replacement tickets, be sure to use a verified site and look out for the red flags we mentioned above!

Don’t let a scam ruin your vacation! Remember, if you’ve encountered a scam, you’re not alone. Cybercrime and online fraud can happen to anyone! Download our Vacation Prep Checklist below to make sure you are prepared for your next vacation.

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