The Christmas season is upon us and you probably have a few things you’ve set out to do during the holidays and like thousands of people across the country, travelling is most likely one of your goals. If you are travelling or have not yet finalised your arrangements for the holidays you should be smart and careful of fraudsters who target people that are desperate to secure travel deals and accommodation at the last minute.
Online scammers exploit potential holiday makers by falsely advertising attractive deals that end up being a fiasco. Don’t be deceived to pay upfront in order to secure a booking that has not been verified as some of these advertisers can request personal information like your bank details, which can then used for theft.
When people are in a rush to secure holiday travel and accommodation, they can easily overlook scams by not paying attention to details due to the pressure, only to find out that they’ve been defrauded at the long run. Here are ways to avoid falling prey to such scams:
1. Use reliable websites like Tripadvisor.com and Booking.com (where you can get 4% cashback when you pay with your GTBank card). There are other similar websites to check reviews and to book accommodation securely. Only go for websites that guarantee a secure and safe booking.
2. Always try and book accommodation three months in advance or longer to avoid disappointments. This will help you qualify for discounts and gives you enough time to do the necessary background and security checks on the travel agent.
3. Use search engines like Google. If you’re worried about a property or suspect that the photographs are fake, simply look it up yourself online. Look for reviews from other travellers and Google Maps to ensure that the place exists and the agent is genuine.
4. Call directly to publicly advertised phone numbers to confirm the booking availability. Even if you get called, rather hang up and call back on the official number.
5. Avoid depositing or transferring money to an individual’s bank account or sending your personal details to their private email address. Rather pay online on the accommodation’s actual website (make sure the website begins with https as the “s” signifies a secure network or pay in person at the venue.)
Have a fun-filled holiday!