Scammers are targeting holidaymakers as lockdowns ease across Europe

There was a 93% increase in malicious web domains related to the word ‘travel’ in the first three months of 2021, according to threat intelligence firm Webroot.

Analysis from its real-time anti-phishing protection system found that cyber criminals have increasingly targeted people who are searching for holidays and weekend breaks.

Nick Emanuel, senior director of product at Webroot, said: “The length and duration of the pandemic has allowed hackers an extended opportunity to hone and craft their domains.”

He adds: “The language used in these malicious domain names is highly reflective of current trends, and key events like travel bans introduced globally have a direct impact on how hackers create resources to trick people.”

Don’t get caught out

Scammers are adept at creating scams that tap into the zeitgeist, as this report again proves. The uptick in travel-related scams comes as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts progress steadily across the globe and a growing sense that life as normal – or, rather, life as it was – will soon return.

Among the things that people have been looking forward to most is the chance to travel. Indeed, surely one of the most popular pastimes of lockdown has been to plan extravagant holidays and vowing to never again take for granted our ability to leave home for more than a few hours at a time.

But as eager as we are for the chance to travel, we must be careful not to fall into scammers’ traps.

The demand for flights and accommodations means it will be hard to find good deals, so if you see an advert or social media post promoting bargains, it will be hard not to click.

But before handing over any sensitive or financial information, you must take the time to review whether the site can be trusted.

Does the domain begin with ‘https’, indicating that the information is encrypted and that the page is registered to who it claims to be? Does the page contain spelling or grammatical mistakes? Have you read any independent reviews of the company?

By answering these questions, you can put your mind to rest about whether the site can be trusted.

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