7 More Travel Scams to be Aware Of
By Evidence Solutions, Inc.
Computer Technology and Digital Forensic Firm
Computer Technology and Digital Forensic Firm
As you travel keep the following scams in mind:
1) Third-Party websites /Search Engine Poisoning
When you want to watch an event online don’t use sites you have never heard of. Third-party websites may be rich in malware which can infect your computer. Choose only the official event website, news websites, and other authentic sources to assure that your computers and mobile devices are not infected and compromised by cyber criminals.
2) Unrealistic airfare or hotel deals
The philosophy: ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is’ applies here. Travelers should be wary of deals touting things like, “buy one night, stay the rest of the week free!”
3) Non existent vacation rentals
As renting personal apartments and homes becomes increasingly popular for travelers, consumers should be extra cautious of where they rent vacation homes from. In many cases, cybercriminals set up fraudulent online travel sites ordeals to con travelers into booking nonexistent rentals or double booking.
You arrive at your hotel only to be told it is overbooked and the room you reserved is not available. As compensation, you are offered accommodation at another property that the hotel may or may not claim is comparable in quality. The only trouble is, it’s not — and you have been, in industry-speak, officially ‘walked-down’. The reason for the practice, experts say, is simple: pure profit. When a guest is ‘walked’ the hotel must cover the cost of your new accommodation — and it can save money by sending you to a lesser property and pocketing the difference. What to do: If this happens to you, don’t immediately agree to the alternative accommodation. Instead, politely stand your ground and remind the hotel that you have a guaranteed reservation. Even if you still have to move, chances are that you’ll be sent to a better property.
5) Beach front or beach-near?
You arrive at your destination only to find the lovely seaside hotel you booked is, in fact, not right on the water, but across a busy thorough fare, or even a block or more away. (Other hotels that sometimes don’t live up to their billing are ‘airport hotels’ that are, in actuality, nowhere near the airport.) What to do: Avoid being taken by misleading advertising by verifying your hotel’s claims before you book using online tools such as TripAdvisor and Google Earth. Also, beach lovers will want to check out a new resource called The Beachfront Club, which lists over 7,000 hotels from around the world that have been verified as true beachfront accommodations. Guests can search by country and city to find their dream hotel that truly is right-on-the-beach.
6) Fake hotel representatives.
You’ve probably heard of the taxi scam, where con artists pose as taxi drivers and then take off with your luggage — or worse,take unsuspecting tourists to a deserted area and then rob or assault them.Similar to this is a scheme where fake hotel representatives meet tourists as they disembark from the plane, train, boat or bus, offering deals on hotel rooms. These scammers may wear a laminated badge, carry a clipboard or even have (fake) brochures. In addition to enticing you with great rates, they’ll offer to take you to the hotel at no cost.
As with the taxi scam, you’ll put your luggage and wallet at risk, as well as your safety. Alternatively, you’ll be delivered to the hotel, only to be told by the clerk that the rate promised has been filled for the evening — but they do have rooms ready for you at a higher rate. If you agree, your‘representative’ will earn a hefty tip.What to do: It’s always better to make your own hotel reservations by phone and confirm rates with a credit card. But if you do arrive in a city without a reservation, look for the nearest tourist information office — and avoid the lone representative.
7) Parking valet worries.
Dishonest valets have been known to steal valuables from the vehicles in their charge. Also, many travelers assume their car will be moved into the hotel lot or parking garage,but some hotels may not even have such facilities and your car could get parked on the street. If the meter runs out — or worse, the car gets towed because it was illegally parked — the owner is stuck with the ticket.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Scott Greene of Evidence Solutions, Inc.
For over 30 years, Scott Greene has been helping companies meet the challenges of the swiftly evolving computer technology industry.
Directly from high school, Scott went to work for IBM. Scott studied Systems Engineering at the University of Arizona. He has since earned certifications in many products and programming languages.
The Evidence Solutions team analyzes data from Computers, Cell Phones, Black Boxes, Dispatch Systems, Medical Records, Email systems and more. Scott then explains the digital evidence in plain English.
Scott’s extensive knowledge draws clients to him from all over the United States as well as Internationally for consulting, Forensics and expert witness services. His extensive and diverse experience allows him to be an expert in many facets of digital and electronic evidence. Scott, a sought after speaker and educator, travels throughout the country sharing his knowledge and presenting to local, regional, national and International organizations.
Copyright Evidence Solutions, Inc.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.