Time is drawing short, and your partner really wants to go visit family for the holidays. You really don’t want to spend a week living with the in-laws so you start doing some research on rentals.
You find a great deal on a place with availability when you need it. Sounds awesome – if it is legitimate.
Scammers can easily pull images from reputable sites and create a new listing of their own. You are asked to pay by a cash transfer app, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency, and everything is fine until you show up and find your rental is a just another racket.
Third party airline and hotel booking sites can present their own risks. You get an email or see a social media post about some cheap tickets or rooms. You click and immediately jump on the deal. Soon you receive a request for more info such as bank account details to confirm the agreement. You have just been triple-whammied. You will lose your money, you likely downloaded malware onto your device, and you gave the bad actor access to your financial information.
Here’s how to protect yourself:
If you are the victim of an online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.