Action Fraud, a British anti-fraud organization in the tourism sector, received 4,244 reports over the past financial year, which is 120% more than a year earlier. Each victim lost an average of 1,868 pounds (122,497 rubles), and in total the attackers managed to earn more than 7 million pounds (459,036,130 rubles).
“Unfortunately, with the growing demand for travel, the number of scammers is also growing,” said Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud.
Some victims told authorities that they had been deceived on websites that posed as real travel sites. Others reported that they fell for advertising on social networks.
“If an ad campaign seems too good to be true, then often it is,” said Mark McCluskey, head of Nuix investigations in the EMEA region.
Victims who fell for a seemingly lucrative offer were contacted by a fraudster posing as a representative of the company. After receiving the payment, the attacker stopped further interaction, or provided gullible tourists with false information about the trip.
“Unfortunately, some victims only found out they were a victim of fraud upon arrival at the airport,” said Graham Buck of ABTA, the Association of British tour operators and travel agents.
Experts recommend that tourists always carefully check the correctness of the domain name of the site and, if possible, pay with a credit card.