Scammed! Fake travel sites…

Some fraudsters are so blatant! In an article a few months back, a seemingly unapologetic scammer appeared to nonchalantly continue selling rooms at some of the most beautiful views on the islands of the Aegean sea. Eventhough they are not authorized nor have any dealings with that establishment!

This one’s real ok. Photo’s ours by the way

Not only did they stole from the identity of the genuine sites, they also set up pay for clicks with Google! Yeah the link has been discontinued since the discovery of this fraud, but that tells you that even Google can be duped. Can you imagine the disappointment horror of the folks who turned up only to be told there wasn’t a reservation made? Not only did one suffer monetary loss, one’s holiday would also be ruined!

This brings us to the point of our post.

With the internet, individuals are empowered to start businesses online without the need for brick and mortar presence. The very same versatility employed by well meaning folks can also be exploited by criminally minded individuals and groups for fiendish ends. Think about it. In the paragraphs of the above example, not only have victims lost money and holiday time, they have “lost” personal and confidential information too,  such as credit card(s), contact details etc. The same identity theft of a business can also extend to fraud committed in your name.

Sure would not like receive a subpoena in your letterbox!

Like its cousin fake news, such fake travel sites are the scourge of the internet. Have you been affected by such sites before? How do you think this form of fraud can be prevented?

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

20 thoughts on “Scammed! Fake travel sites…”

  1. I’m always very cautious with unknown websites, not only for travel but anything really. But I guess it’s harder to avoid these days with so many bed & breakfast, who knows which one is legitimate?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Probably the best security, and nothing is totally secure on the Internet, is to stick with well-know, time tested sites. The other best thing is to remember the old adage, if something seems to good to be true, don’t bite. Good post, Suan. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I haven’t been affected personally, but I know people who have. A friend of mine paid a deposit for a fake apartment rental in Paris, for example.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think people need to be more diligent and do research plus educate themselves on what signs to look for. Every time I see something that seems off i google it to see if there has been any reviews or report of a scam etc. I think many just take things at face value and don’t question things. If it wasn’t this easy to dupe people, those sites wouldn’t be around anymore. Set up a site, cash in and shut it down when discovered then move on. At least that is my personal opinion 😐

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh my, this is scary! Thanks for the warning. I have always been skeptical of online booking even flights and accomodation since they make up most of the traveling budget. For flights I’d rather go to the official pages and for hostels, always check the reviews…But still, who knows. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it is hard to discern these days. But a few telltale signs help such as : the site address, being redirected, or the pricing (if ridiculously low)… and yes we do reviews too in Tripadvisor to share our experiences not just of the hotels/restaurants/attractions but also the who we booked with. So people out there reading will know those are genuine.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow thats crazy! I am always so weary about booking stuff online such as tours and even using third party websites for plane tickets. This just adds to my detective work when I travel, haha. This is such a good article though because there are some people who fall victims of these sites and nobody knows. Great way to bring awareness to the issue!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well we are big bookers online – since we are cheapos….lol which is why we are constantly looking out for scams as we book. The biggest issue for us is not the money but the loss of personal information!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good point raising awareness. I am always skeptical of those travel websites. But who knows, they are everywhere now. I think the best way to prevent is what you did, warn people, raise the awareness and give people a platform to share their experiences will bring them to the light. If there’s no way to punish them legally, at least, we can help ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes like its cousin fake news, these sites are so professional and similar that one would really have to check a few times. You might recall we had dumb luck with Cathay (being upgraded etc), but when we first looked at booking, the pricing and offers were so affordable that it rang alarm bells! But it turns out to be real.

      Liked by 2 people

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