Travel scams found to be increasing.
N2K logoJan 19, 2023

Three in five travel-themed emails are scams.

Travel scams found to be increasing.

Bitdefender has published a report looking at the prevalence of travel-themed phishing scams.

The majority of travel-themed emails are scams.

The researchers found that 60% of all travel-themed emails sent between December 20th and January 10th were phishing attacks. Most of the attacks observed by Bitdefender targeted English-speaking users:

“Particularly, spammers pushed their travel-themed lures on English-speaking recipients, with 53% of the correspondence targeting US inboxes. The US is followed by Ireland (10%), India (6%), the UK and South Africa (5% each), and Germany (4%).”

Scammers impersonate airlines.

Many of the scams impersonated airlines, including Southwest Airlines, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, and American Airlines. These scams are designed to gain access to travel rewards and loyalty accounts:

“Airline loyalty programs are highly desired digital assets for cybercriminals as they contain a wide variety of personally identifiable information on travelers and airline points that can be monetized on the dark web.”

Scammers also pose as airlines to offer users phony travel packages:

“Most giveaway and survey scams offer recipients free miles and gift cards ranging from $90 to £500. Fraudsters also anticipate consumer behaviors and incentives that prompt them to book or buy travel packages - as seen in this bogus survey aimed at stealing personal and financial info from users.”