The Internet is changing everything from shopping to booking a ticket. Now everything can be done from the comfort of home with only one click. In the digital world, the concept of traveling has evolved significantly, offering new opportunities and transforming how travelers explore destinations. But as the traveling agencies are proliferating, travel fraud has also increased. 

There are various types of travel scams, which not only waste travelers’ time, but also leave a dent in the traveler’s finances. After covid, everyone needs a break from a rigorous routine, and they want to explore new places. According to a McAfee Corp study, 30% of individuals have been or know someone who has been a victim of internet fraud when seeking to save money on vacation. 34% of individuals who had their money taken lost more than $1,000 before their vacation began, while 66% lost less than $1,000.

Benefits of Innovations in Traveling Agencies 

Traveling agencies enjoy many perks from digital technology. The internet has revolutionized travel research. Nowadays, travelers can find all information online on travel blogs, social media platforms, and websites. Taking advantage of this, Online travel agencies (OTAs) provide convenient platforms where travelers can search for the best deals, compare prices, and make reservations instantly.  Digital KYC platforms and websites have made booking flights, hotels, and other travel services easier. This has simplified the booking process and increased transparency for travelers. Travel agencies also can share images of locations, hotels, attractions, and activities. To create a trustworthy environment, they can share customer reviews. 

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According to Statista’s Digital Market Outlook, global income from travel applications is predicted to increase by 17% in 2023 compared to the previous year, and expected revenue will reach approximately $400 million. The primary explanation for this boom is the latest technology, internet, and cell phones.

Drawbacks of Digital Innovations 

Implementing technology enhances the tourism industry and travel agencies to grow their revenue. However, the same technology is also a cause of many travel frauds. Given below are the common digital travel scams. 

Fake or Stolen ID Card 

Typically, this travel fraud attempt starts with obtaining credit card numbers and personal data of the victim. Scammers access different databases and use various information for payments. Hackers steal cardholder information through data breaches, card skimming, or by deploying malicious software on trustworthy websites. Credit card numbers and other information wind up on the black market, where others acquire them to commit online purchase fraud. This is known as imposter scam and is the most common way to fraud any business. They can use stolen information for illicit activities to keep their identity hidden. In the roughly 3 million fraud instances filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2018, identity theft was the third-most prevalent kind of fraud in the travel sector in the United States. 

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Booking Scams 

Digital innovations make online booking easy and risky at the same time. Without proper research, hotel, train, and airline booking is unsafe. These travel fraud scammers are experts at creating fake tickets and counterfeit images of hotels. They design attractive photos and write creative descriptions to tempt unsuspecting travelers. Scammers use different tactics to lure the victim, such as creating urgency for discounts; when the payment is made, they will disappear. 

Account Takeover (ATO) 

Account takeover is becoming an increasingly prevalent travel fraud in the digital era. E-commerce traveling websites are most vulnerable to this scam, scammers try different credentials to hack the website. Many customers use one email and password for all websites, which exposes them to scammers. They utilize databases containing stolen credentials or employ brute-force methods to gain unauthorized access to travel websites. These tactics aim to compromise user accounts and steal customer information or valuable resources such as loyalty points and gift cards.

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How Does Digital Documents Verification Reduce Travel Frauds?

The central issue of travel scams is the lack of proper document attestation. Banks register illegitimate traveling agencies that are involved in different travel frauds. They must conduct an identity verification process, which ensures the company is valid. KYC documents assist the banks to verify the traveling agency they onboard as a customer is not involved in illicit activities. The digital verification process also assists the travel agencies in monitor the customer’s transaction and keeping know-your-transactions (KYT) verification updated. Online identity verification utilizes its blend of cutting-edge technology and meticulous analysis to confirm the identity of travelers. 

Summing up Digital Travel Frauds 

In the online world, travel frauds are increasing gradually. Document verification process can reduce these travel scams by only onboarding legitimate customers. Digital document authentication has become a paramount part of all businesses that have to comply with regulations. Ensuring the travel agencies work smoothly and build a trustworthy environment for the consumer is a crucial part of the business.  

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