Beware of these 7 Travel Scams
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) Credit Card Info Request / The Late Night Call
This scam is simple: Someone calls you from the “hotel front desk”, sometimes late at night. The caller identifies themselves as a hotel employee and say there is a problem with your credit card information, which you must provide again. Unfortunately it is not a hotel employee at all. It is a scammer trying to trick you into divulging your credit card information. Never give credit card information out over the phone. Let them know you will come down to the front desk and deliver the information. Chances are good the scammer will simply hang up.
2) Sound-alike wireless network
While staying at a hotel you attempt to connect to the wireless Internet. However, when you search for wireless networks on your computer or mobile device, you find other networks with the name of the hotel or something very similar. Unfortunately the network doesn't belong to the hotel. The WiFi connection belongs to a scammer out to steal information that they intercept over the rogue Wi-Fi hotspot. Evidence Solutions, Inc. recommends that you ask the front desk personnel the names of their networks. In higher end hotels, you will also be prompted for a login which will ask for your name and room number which can be an indication that you have connected to the right network.
3) Fake food delivery flyers
A flyer for pizza delivery appears under your hotel door. You call the pizza parlor to place an order which you bill to your credit card. Unfortunately your pizza pie never arrives, and the scammer now has your credit info. Contact the front desk or confirm the restaurant information on the Internet to ensure the restaurant is legitimate before you place your order and insist on paying upon delivery.
4) Computer keystroke logging / monitoring software
As we indicated in our previous article: “How to beef up your travel security & stay safe this summer” hotel business centers are dangerous places to use computers. In a recent alert from the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the departments warned travelers that scammers regularly install so-called keylogging software on computers in hotel business centers. Keylogging software collects login names and passwords which the scammers use to collect personally identifiable information (PII) and gain access to your accounts including: banks, email as well as corporate logins. Evidence Solutions recommends that you assume that everything you type is being recorded and read by someone else for nefarious purposes.
5) Room Maintenance
The scam works like this: You receive a call from a person claiming to be part of hotel maintenance staff. They indicate that there is something in your room needs fixing. Once they gain access to your room, they may may swap the door cards or just ransack the room as soon as you have left. Two things we recommend here: 1) Always check with the front desk to make sure the call is legitimate. 2) Unless you really need your room cleaned, Leave out the “Do Not Disturb” sign. Allowing even legitimate hotel personnel access to your personal items is a security risk.
6) Ticketing scams
Each year almost five million people purchase event tickets that turn out to be fraudulent. These include tickets for: concerts, sporting events, theme parks, shows, etc. To be safe, purchase your tickets only from official event websites or approved resellers. Be wary of making purchases from untrusted third parties, classified ad sites and scalpers.
7) 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 cybercriminals.
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.