Beware of Scammers: Know How to Avoid Travel-Related Online Scams
Amid the growing number of stories from customers who fell victim to online travel scams, AirAsia MOVE (formerly Airasia Superapp) reminds the public to be extra careful when making flight and hotel purchases online, especially from dubious online travel agents.
According to the data of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group, the number of travel-related online scams has grown up to 16 times in two years.
From 51 recorded cases in 2021, the total number of victims has ballooned to 842 in 2023. Almost half of the victims lost their money to scammers in hopes of purchasing discounted flights and accommodation. Based on PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group’s records, at least PHP 13.2 million was lost in 2023 alone to travel-related online scams.
The PNP classifies travel scams into two categories. First is the “fakebooking” wherein scammers steal a traveler’s personal information.
The other classification covers those who lost money to scammers or illegitimate online travel agents. In many cases, victims were asked to send a downpayment or even a full payment to avail of a fake discount, only to discover later that they had been scammed.
Lt. Col. Jay Guillermo, PNP-ACG Spokesperson, advises the public and travelers: “They must go to a legitimate site. It can be a legitimate page, or application para, at least, malaman natin if there is something (suspicious) in their communication. Malalaman natin kung sino ang nanloloko kasi nga if they order on these websites, applications or page na legitimate, they can monitor whatever transaction they’ve done online. Ibig sabihin, meron kang security because these are legitimate and these are regulated, so secured ang transaction mo. (Translation: They must go to a legitimate site. It can be a legitimate page or application (app), so at least we can determine if there is something suspicious in their communication. We shall know who is at fault because we can monitor the transaction when they use legitimate applications or websites. This means they have security because these are legitimate and these are regulated, so their transactions are secured.)”
Rowena Rivera, AirAsia MOVE (formerly airasia Superapp) Head of Travel – Philippines, said: “With the growing popularity of…