Sextortion: Cyber Safe Advice
What is "Sextortion", and how can you deal with it if it affects you?
New warning from UK Finance around Coronavirus holiday scams.
Consumers are being urged to be on the lookout for holiday scams including fake caravan and motorhome listings, refund offers and travel deals, as criminals take advantage of uncertainty around coronavirus travel restrictions and cancellations to target their victims and commit fraud.
With many people looking to book their summer breaks when lockdown ends, the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign has today published detailed guidance with information on common holiday scams and advice on how to stay safe from them.
Criminals are experts at impersonating trusted organisations such as airlines, travel agencies or banks. They will use a range of methods to approach their victims, including scam emails, telephone calls, fake websites and posts on social media and auction websites. Customers are therefore reminded to always follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and take a moment to stop and think before parting with their money or information in case it’s a scam.
Criminals are taking advantage of growing demand for ‘staycations’ in the UK this summer, by advertising fake listings for caravans and motorhomes on auction sites and citing lockdown restrictions as the reason vehicles can’t be viewed in person. These vehicles are advertised at attractive prices to tempt people into believing they’re getting a good deal, when in reality they simply don’t exist or don’t arrive once paid for.
Fake refunds for cancellations
The current travel restrictions imposed due to coronavirus have meant thousands of customers have applied for refunds for cancelled flights or holidays. Criminals may exploit this situation to defraud people via phishing emails, ‘spoofed’ calls or social media posts and adverts claiming to be offering refunds from airlines, travel providers or banks. Often emails and posts will include links leading to fake websites used to steal personal and financial information that can infect a victim’s device with malware.
Cheap travel deal scams
Criminals will set up fake websites offering ‘cheap travel deals’ which are used to obtain your money and information. Websites may look similar to the genuine organisation’s but subtle changes in the URL can indicate that it’s fraudulent. These websites may also seem professional and convincing, using images of luxury villas and apartments that don’t exist to convince victims they’re trusted and genuine. These are offered for rent, often at discounted prices and require a deposit to be made which is never returned.