Top five Holiday Scams to look out for during the holiday season.

Fraudsters have honed their skills, check out the top 5 holiday scams in this article.

1. Fake accommodation sites

Fraudsters have honed their skills in replicating booking platforms like or Airbnb, and, in some cases, have even created deceptive websites with fraudulent property listings. These scammers entice unsuspecting travellers with enticing last-minute offers that seem too good to be true, often incorporating genuine images of properties sourced from legitimate websites.

Notably, they prefer payment through bank transfers rather than secure debit or credit card transactions, complicating the process of recovering lost funds for victims. Remain vigilant against these tactics to safeguard your finances and ensure a secure booking experience.

2. Flight compensation offers

The declaration of flight cancellations by airlines serves as a catalyst for scammers who exploit the situation through various channels. These fraudsters utilise social media platforms to target passengers seeking refunds. Deceptive offers frequently manifest through text messages, phone calls, and, most prevalent, email communications, where scammers impersonate airlines, counterfeit agencies managing compensation claims, or even assume the identity of authoritative bodies like the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Contacting the companies directly is the best way to ensure you are speaking with the right organisation to protect yourself from falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

3. Rip-off taxi fares

Tourists can easily become vulnerable to exploitative taxi drivers due to a language barrier or unfamiliarity with fare-pricing systems. Although taxis are generally well-regulated in popular holiday destinations, with fares visibly tracked on meters, a few drivers choose to flout the rules.

They may take unnecessary detours, quote inflated fixed rates, or feign misunderstanding of tourists' requests, leading them to the wrong destination and subsequently charging exorbitant fares. Stay cautious to avoid falling victim to such practices.

4. Public Wi-Fi

While hotels, airports, cafes, and various attractions typically provide travellers with secure, private Wi-Fi connections, this is not always the case. Some self-catering holiday rentals and public areas may lack such secure networks.

Using public networks poses a risk, as information shared over these connections such as browsing history, location, and passwords can be visible to other users, including potential scammers. This exposure opens users to various risks, including fraud, theft, and malware attacks. Always exercise caution when accessing public Wi-Fi to safeguard your sensitive information. As a general rule do not connect to a public Wi-Fi network.

5. Holiday deals

When an offer seems too good to be true, it often is. Whether it claims to be from an airline, tour operator, hotel group, or an unfamiliar company, enticing deals may not be legitimate and could be a phishing attempt to extract your personal information. These scams come in various forms, such as flashy web page advertisements or emails in your inbox.

Some may lure recipients with promises of being "lucky winners" who need to "click here" to redeem an "exclusive offer." If such offers appear unexpectedly, it's wise to be sceptical. If in doubt about the authenticity of an offer, avoid clicking and instead visit the company's official website to verify the legitimacy of the promotion.

If you’ve been scammed

Cease all communication with the fraudulent party without delay. It is imperative to promptly reach out to the relevant authorities to report all activities related to the scam. In addition to notifying law enforcement, consider reporting the incident via Scam Watch. Contact your bank immediately and clearly explain the circumstances surrounding the scam, providing any relevant documentation if available.

Take steps to halt any ongoing or potential future transactions to mitigate financial losses. This comprehensive approach ensures a swift response to the scam, both in terms of legal intervention and safeguarding your financial assets.

Community First Credit Union LimitedABN 80 087 649 938 | Operating as Community First Bank | AFSL and Australian credit licence 231204| BSB 512-170