McAfee today revealed how cybercriminals are capitalizing on Canadian consumers’ risky travel booking habits. The findings show popular beach destinations around the world and cities in the U.S. generate the riskiest search results when people are hunting for vacation deals online.
Highlights of the survey include:
- Approximately one in eight Canadians (13%) have been scammed or nearly scammed when booking a vacation online
- 30% of travel-related scam victims reported that they lost between $1,000 and $3,000 as a result of the fraudulent activity
- Nearly one third (33%) of vacation scam victims were defrauded after spotting a deal that was too good to be true.
- A third (30%) of Canadians put their companies at risk of cyber-attacks by using their work devices while traveling and connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks
Top summer destinations hackers are targeting via potentially malicious sites:
- Palm Springs, California
- Male, Maldives
- Belize City, Belize
- Chicago, Illinois
- Cancun, Mexico
Canmore among most malicious destinations for U.S. travel searches
Canmore, AB is a popular travel destination for American tourists because of its proximity to scenic Banff National Park. It’s so popular in fact that Canmore made the U.S. top-5 list of most dangerous summer vacations for U.S. travellers searching for vacation deals online.
McAfee’s survey confirms that cybercriminals’ tactic of targeting vacation goers is paying off, with one in eight (13%) people reporting that they have been scammed or came very close to being scammed, when booking a vacation online. Bargain-hunting Canadians are most at risk, with nearly a third of vacation scam victims (33%) being defrauded after spotting a deal that was too good to be true.
McAfee’s tips for identifying authentic booking sites and safe surfing on holiday include:
Only access verified websites. Only click on websites that your security software has identified as being safe. For example McAfee WebAdvisorwill identify safe websites with a green check and will block malware and phishing sites if you accidentally click on a malicious link from your search results.
Use trusted platforms and verified payment methods when finalizing your bookings. Fraudsters may try to lure you away from a trusted platform with the promise of discounted rates. Remember to keep all your communications and bookings to trusted platforms, such as HomeAway.com; and verify the site before entering payment information. This will help protect you from phishing and other cyber fraud.
Utilize an identity theft solution. With all this personal data floating around online, it’s important that you protect your identity. Use an identity theft solution, such as McAfee Identity Theft Protection, to help protect personally identifiable information from identity theft and fraud.
Always connect with caution. If you have to conduct transactions on a public Wi-Fi connection use a virtual private network (VPN) like McAfee Safe Connectto help keep your connection secure.