Almost 1 in 3 Singaporeans encountered scams when booking holiday trips

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booking holiday tripsFor those in Singapore looking to indulge themselves in an adventure to a new country, please be aware of new findings regarding scams and fake offers.

McAfee, a computer security software company, conducted a survey with 500 Singaporeans, in which they found out that almost one in three (29%) have been victims to or came close to being scammed or swindled when booking holiday trips online. The survey, done on June 12, also revealed that half of the victims reported losing amount between S$1,000 to S$7,000 due to these scams and fraudulent activities.

McAfee stated that cybercriminals are able to trick their victims by appealing to their risky holiday booking habits and targeting their favourite destinations. A list was devised containing Singaporeans’ riskiest holiday destinations, which include: Taipei, London, Bali, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Kyoto.

Searches for holiday destinations come in high volumes from Singaporeans, and cybercriminals capitalise on this in order to draw them into accessing potentially malicious websites. These websites, if accessed, would install malware that have the ability to steal personal information and capture passwords. Users tend to disregard checking a website’s authenticity. According to McAfee’s head of Southeast Asia consumer business Shashwat Khandelwal, 30% of Singaporeans book their holiday plans through email promotions and pop-up ads, and that these individuals should take further measure to analyse these deals to determine their authenticity.

“Once they’ve validated its authenticity, all communication and payment should be conducted via that trusted platform to help keep personal and financial information out of hackers’ hands,” he said. It was also revealed that 23% of Singaporeans exposed themselves to fraud due to lack of authenticity checking prior to booking a trip. Additionally, 33% of respondents stated that they didn’t consider validating travel website before finalizing a deal. This has resulted in nearly a quarter of the victims stating that they only found out that a website was fraudulent after being scammed.

Internet users should educate themselves on how to properly validate different websites before making big purchases. This can prevent many fraudulent activities and ensure internet safety.

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