Summer time, for many people, means vacation. The increase in travel brings an onslaught of online travel transactions when booking hotels, airfare, trains, tours, tickets, rental cars and more. Online travel companies experience a dramatic increase in online and mobile fraud during these months, in comparison to the offseason, when people are traveling less.
According to Travel Market Report, fraudulent online travel bookings have reached $1.3 billion a year. Other trends being seen are that more travel transactions are occurring via mobile devices than in previous years, and phony companies presenting themselves as travel agents. In addition, pickpocketing in foreign countries leads to the use of fraudulent cards, costing both the customer and the merchant.
Fraudulent online travel agents prey on consumers, especially those looking to book last minute travels, as well as big-ticket items such as vacation packages including airfare and hotel. From a certified agency’s perspective, when a fraudulent credit card is used, agencies experience chargebacks from their credit card providers. According to PhocusWright data, an agency with more than $10 million in gross sales challenge 21.4 percent of chargebacks. However, they only win a reversal of the fee 14 percent of the time, costing the merchant big time.
When traveling, pickpockets can get your card in just seconds, and you could be miles away in a foreign country before realizing you have been a victim. In the event of your card being stolen, call your credit card provider immediately to report the stolen card. That way, if any charges have been made or will be attempted, it won’t cost you. Using a credit card at a POS machine in a foreign country has its risks as well. It is recommended to try and use the local currency in cash to avoid private information from being stolen from you while traveling.