NAB issues travel warning for US and Europe as scammers target Aussies’ FOMO

Woman at cafe paying contactless

The NAB has warned Aussies traveling to the US and Europe this winter break to be “scam savvy” due to an expected uptick in criminals targeting tourists. 

Scammers are expected to target large sporting events and big international concerts in Europe and the US, Chris Sheehan, NAB executive, group investigations said. 

As well as ticket scams, tourists are being urged to look out for fake websites impersonating accommodation or booking websites, as well as wrong charge scams. 

“Just like you’d plan visas and check the weather at your destination, it’s also vital to be aware of common scams in the countries you’re visiting so you can recognise the red flags and protect yourself,” Sheehan said in an NAB update.

Sheehan added that criminals will often target travelers’ heightened emotions during travel such as fear of missing out (FOMO), tiredness and excitement. 

“The pressure to act now is a red flag in ticket and accommodation scams, while overcharging or wrong charging scams play on distraction and a lack of detail,” he said.

Sheehan, who previously worked for the Australian Federal Police, said travelers should let their bank know when they are going abroad so that they can be on alert for any suspicious activity. 

He also said that Aussies should move quickly and block their card if they do find they have been scammed. 

Around 80 per cent of Aussies are trying to save money and build an average $17,000 in savings, while a third say they’re saving that money for a holiday, according to data from NAB Economics.

“While the cost of living remains a concern for many, we know Australians have spent months making smarter spending and saving decisions, or banking rewards points, so they can prioritise travelling this year,” Sheehan said.

“For some it will be a bucket list trip like cheering the Green and Gold on in Paris, while for others it may be a holiday with family or friends.”

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