News

ACCC warning as scammers strike

Conmen have ripped off consumers to the tune of $250,000 this year after hacking into travel websites and setting up bogus property listings.

The competition watchdog today revealed it has received 100 travel-related scam complaints where consumers have been tricked into paying for properties that didn’t exist or where the owner knew nothing about the booking.

In some instances scammers have hacked into holiday rental and travel sites to access email inquiries send by consumers. They then assume the identity of a property owner and lure the consumer into making a bogus booking.

But the most commonly reported scam involves the purchase by holidaymakers of accommodation vouchers that don’t arrive, are fake or are not eligible.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned the public to contact the company directly using details sourced independently through the phone book or online.

“Don’t trust the legitimacy of an ad because it appears in a reputable newspaper or online classifieds websites as scammers often use these,” ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said. “If you receive an email out of the blue from a stranger offering a great holiday deal, delete it and do not click on any links or open attachments.”



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