3 Common Scams to Protect Yourself From this Summer!

With the summer holiday season right around the corner, scammers are looking to target vacation goers. As attractive as some summertime deals might seem, how can you tell the difference between the real deal and a dangerous scam? Check out three common travel booking scams and how you to keep you and your family safe from them!

Scam 1 – Fake Travel Websites

Fake travel websites are made to look like real travel websites. They may also show up in your online searches or on your Facebook ads, making them seem even more authentic. Often, they have similar URLs, logos, and colours as the real ones.

For example, popular European budget airline Ryanair has the website URL of ryanair.com. Fake websites could use similar URL addresses such as ryanair.com-freechance.com as well as a copy of Ryanair’s logo to trick you into thinking you are on the real website.

If you search for Ryanair right now the first three results are ads and none of them are the actual website.

FixMeTip: Before you make any booking or input any sensitive or confidential information – check the URL twice.

Scam 2 – Fake Accommodation Listings

Fake or duplicate accommodation listing can be found on many popular websites and applications, such as Airbnb and bookings.com.

Image result for airbnb

Hosts on Airbnb may list their properties on different websites at different price points, and then canceling the cheaper booking at the last minute. Check out a real case of this Airbnb last-minute cancellation scam and the man who successfully fought this practice here.

Other accommodation scams can involve fake listings, as one bookings.com user found out when they arrived at the address of their Los Angeles accommodation only to find out it’s an office building.

FixMeTip: To protect yourself from this type of scams, simply search the address of your desired accommodation in Google maps and check out street views around the property to ensure it’s a legitimate hotel.

Scam 3 – Fake Facebook Pages that Steal Your Information

Your private information is a commodity these days thanks to social media websites like Facebook and Instagram. Scammers are also utilizing these platforms to collect your personal information.

One such scam involves a fake Facebook travel page that mimics a real Facebook page from a legitimate company. The scammer will then post fake promotions and deals for tickets or accommodations and only giving you access to these deals when you sign up or fill in your personal information.

Once your personal information has been collected, the scammer will then sell this information to a third party. Depending on how much information you gave away, this could make you more vulnerable to identity theft and other attacks.

FixMeTip: to protect yourself from these type of scams, always be careful what personal information you are giving out. You can also create an Email address specifically for receiving marketing emails from companies and businesses you frequent.

couple using their laptop to pay their bills at home in the living room

More Tips To Keep Yourself Safe

Making an online booking? The first detail to check before you give away your credit card information is the website’s URL link. All websites with secure payment practices should have the ‘HTTPS’ before their website address. This indicates the data sent between your browser and the website is secure. For an added layer of encryption check out NordVPN here.

For example, when purchasing a FixMeStick, you should be on https://app.fixmestick.com/store/.

Whenever possible, you should always make payments using your credit card. These payments are more easily reversible if you find out a payment or company is fraudulent later on.

Another tip to keep in mind is to look out for deals that are too good to be true. If you are not a frequent flyer and find a 50% off deal on an airplane ticket for the summertime, it’s probably a scam. Summer is peak traveling season after all, so expect general price increases in airplane tickets as well as other traveling expenses.

Before you commit to a booking, a good habit to get into is to research or look up reviews of travel agencies, companies, hotels, and even Airbnb hosts. All you have to do is to type the hotel or company name into a search engine followed by the word ‘reviews’. If you don’t see any reviews, it could be a cause for concern.

And again, we recommend using a virtual private network, or VPN when you are making online purchases to stay anonymous and keep your information private. Click here to read more about VPNs. You can also purchase NordVPN, our favourite VPN we use here at FixMeStick for a discounted price today.

12 comments

  1. pamela green - Reply

    I had someone put a block on a page web site scammer he said we can help the same line, to call Microsoft with the number 1-855-823-0158 what I couldn’t understand I was able to still use the computer, so I call the number and recognized the voice he has been doing scams for a long time.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Pamela, it looks like you were speaking with a tech support scammer! We’ve written about these tech support scams here. To find out Microsoft’s support number for your location, click here!

  2. Anonymous - Reply

    In past years I’ve had a message suddenly show up on my computer telling me my computer was in danger of being hacked and then showing a phone number to call to prevent the hacking from taking place. I don’t know what triggered these messages from showing up on my screen but I was suspicious of what they would require to resolve the matter and didn’t call

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi there, it sounds like you have popups on your computer that are designed to trick you into calling this scam phone number! You might come across popups when you’re surfing online. These advertisement windows block your screen, but they do not install anything on your computer. Since they don’t download, FixMeStick will not wipe them from your computer. However, we’re happy to give pointers of how to get them off your screen.

      Here’s a blog post of how to get rid of those jarring popups in Task Manager.

      We recommend you download a free adblocker. You can find one for your internet browser here.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Chuck, VPNs are very different than FixMeSticks. The FixMeStick is a virus removal device, whereas a VPN does not remove viruses and simply provides a private internet connection for you to go connect to the internet. To learn more about VPNs, click here.

  3. Anonymous - Reply

    I have a fix me stick alredy which I bought it from iether HSN or QVC. Can’t remember which one . I have used it on my desk top and now I want to use it on my HP EliteBook
    laptop but I am unable to. could you send me a directions to do so? What am I doing wrong?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi there, to start a FixMeStick scan, please follow these instructions here. If you are still having trouble with your FixMeStick, please send us an email to support@fixmestick.com and we will be able to assist you from there.

  4. Shelley - Reply

    I have a fixmestick but have misplaced it, I still have the box and everything to identify the stick is it possible to get a replacement?

  5. Anonymous - Reply

    Thanks for all the helpful hints. I feel much more secure with the fixmestick.
    Janice Wittcheck

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