How To Avoid Fraud When Booking Your Next Trip Online

The following is a guest post by Amy Johnson. If you’d like to have your own guest post featured on The First Million is the Hardest see my guest posting guidelines and send me an email!

Avoid Credit Fraud when Booking Your Plane Tickets Online

Buying travel tickets online is no different from online shopping. Experts remind travelers that the risk of credit card fraud is always present. They strongly advocate for safe computing habits and considerable amounts of common sense. And these measures need to take effect from day one that travel plans are set in motion.                              

Safe Online Booking Tips for Your Vacation Travel Plans

Online booking of airline tickets is essentially online shopping. Internet security experts strongly recommend the adherence to the same measures to protect consumers from becoming victims of credit fraud. The rule of thumb is to trust only reputable service providers and to skip over too-attractive travel promo deals. Keeping this in mind, experts say, is the best way to prevent online booking fraud.

Credit card owners need to exercise great care when buying their plane tickets online. They can avoid online scam attempts by acknowledging that personal information is easily accessible these days. “We live in a digital age and consumers need to be more vigilant about … their personal information,” Financial Times said in a report.

Consumers can combat online fraud by proactively protecting their personal data while performing web-based business transactions. This is done by observing safe computing practices and taking steps “to ensure they use anti-virus software and a firewall for added protection,” said the same report.

On top of these basic safety tips, here are sure ways to enjoy credit protection when booking online travel deals.

If you must purchase plane tickets online, stick to credit cards.

Experts agree that credit cards offer more security than debit cards. Note that the latter is directly connected to a consumer’s bank account, which means any transaction beachautomatically deducts an amount from the person’s bank account. Credit cards can also cushion the impact of a potential fraud. A required clearing-time of the previously transacted credits acts as a buffer for later disputes,according to Forbes.

In addition,CNN said in a report that, “the majority of credit cards offer purchase protection in case your card number is stolen, or if you make a payment at an online store that delivers a bad product, or no product at all.”

Prevent online fraud by beefing up your computer/online security.

The highest form of online protection is achieved by maintaining a secured computing machine, according to tech giant Microsoft. The company listed the following as the best defense against prevalent scams over the internet:

  • Delete unsolicited emails. It is likely that they contain malware that could hijack PCs and pilfer personal data.
  • Use strong passwords by combining alpha-numeric characters.
  • Ignore phishing mails that ask for bank and credit account numbers. Contact your bank and credit providers for verification.
  • Maximize the use of your browser’s security features. Turn them on at all times.
  • Update your anti-virus everyday and schedule a scan at least once a week.

Take note that the above tips are equally useful for mobile computing using smartphone and tablet computers.

Surf on secured networks; visit established websites and download safe apps.

However safe your computing device is, it will amount to nothing if the network you connect with is unsecured. Limit your business transactions, which include online booking, to your home network and engage only with reputable providers. For mobile computing, stay on the safe side by downloading applications that were certified by major computing firms.

To quickly identify a credit card fraud, monitor your accounts.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the best way to do this is to regularly check your accounts for any unusual activity. If possible, activate your accounts’ fraud alert and credit freeze, which in essence notifies you of any unintended changes and halts all account activities, the U.S. publication added. These measures should tone down likely financial losses.

Stay on top of the situation.

You are protecting your own identity and money so stay in total control during the time you are processing an online booking. Citing tips from UK’s Financial Fraud Action, BBC reminded consumers to make sure they deal with the correct websites. Authenticity can be verified by checking that the site’s URL comes with a small lock icon and the address is preceded by ‘https’ (not the normal ‘http’).

Safe credit card payment is also ensured if consumers’ cards are registered on providers’ online security services, BBC said, adding that every transaction must be finished properly. This is done by logging out of the seller’s site once the sale is completed. Also, consumers are warned not to share credit card information with anyone on the phone unless they initiated the call.

Deal only with duly-sanctioned travel operators.

This serves as consumers’ extra-protection against online credit fraud,according to UK travel association ABTA. With an umbrella organization supervising a travel agency’s operations, consumers are assured of services that adhere to strict government codes, the travel group added. Such an arrangement provides a layer of security for travelers who are more inclined to purchase tickets from online sellers.

The chances of becoming a fraud victim are significantly diminished if consumers would pay careful attention to advice given by online security experts, BBC said.

Whatever your travel plans are for the holidays, make them worry-free by adequately securing all your online booking transactions.

Author Bio: Amy Johnson  is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance related articles to encourage people to manage and protect their finances. She also covers topics on credit fraud and credit protection that can help people prevent themselves from identity theft & credit fraud.

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8 Responses to How To Avoid Fraud When Booking Your Next Trip Online

  1. Check your balances while you are on the trip. It’s a lot easier to take care of getting double-charged at a restaurant when it isn’t back on the other side of the country.

  2. The only time I was (knowingly) double charged was about 20 years ago in a restaurant in Rome when I unwisely gave the card to the waiter – this was before the days of wireless terminals. Two charges were made, one for me and one for another table. It may have been an honest mistake or it may have been fraud – I don’t know but I did get a refund from the credit card company.

    So never do that – if there is no wireless terminal, take your card to the cashier so you can see it go through.

  3. I always make sure that I am on a secured website when I use my credit card but we all know they too can be compromised. When I was travelling I always made sure to monitor my account. That was one thing I made sure of as I didn’t want to get back home to find out something that I should have dealt with while I was on vacation.

  4. Pauline says:

    I always try to book by card to have free travel and car rental insurance. They also cover flight delay and lost luggage, which can be helpful.

  5. Pingback: Carnival of financial independence

  6. Charmaine says:

    Once, I needed to do an online transaction while I was waiting for my flight at the Denver International Airport. I opted to use a paid internet connection as opposed to the free wifi they are offering. I felt like it was safer that way because not just anybody can hack into the connection.

  7. Try to use a credit card with a much lower credit limit when purchasing travel or anything online. For example, we at FlightsMobile.com tell our visitors to use a credit card with $1,000 credit limit, that way if your card was ever lost or stolen, it’s going to be a lot easier to recover the fraudulent activities associated with your card when there is a much lower credit limit. If you find that your credit limit is too high, you can contact your credit card company to lower your credit limit. If they ask why, just tell them for personal and/or security reasons PERIOD!

  8. Jordan says:

    Frauds at online transition is very much possible when you thing to book online your vacations because spammers are always ready to steal your identities.
    i am also a victim of this fraud and i suddenly got this blogs it’s really nice for me when i read all the cause’s of it and also took the look at all the preventing tips what this article has shown
    thanks for this article for free tips

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