Make sure holiday spam isn’t scamming you!

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on March 24, 2013 Published on March 24, 2013

Looking for summer vacation ideas? Googling this or that site to check out fares, travel distances and ideal locations? This, in fact, is the right time to plan. But be warned. You’d better do a quick background search on the site before paying online for advanced bookings.

Anti-virus solutions firm Bitdefender says cyber criminals have begun to spread spammed malware campaigns as the travel industry started promoting summer deals.

“Flight confirmation emails are the top lure this season, followed by hotel deals, extravagant cruise packages and vacation loans,” the anti-virus solutions firm said in an advisory.

In this season, holiday spam can reach up to 6 per cent of all spam. And if a regular “business spam day” means some 1.8 million messages, at the season’s peak we are talking about approximately 1.08 lakh holiday-themed pieces a day.

The spammers are sensitive to the local language requirements too.

“Airline confirmation emails or receipts make up about 60 per cent of all summer holiday spam. The other scam variety is the fake newsletter promoting early-booking bargains at top global tourist locations,” it said. These messages usually deliver malware in an attachment or link to dangerous Web pages that could put a big hole in your e-wallet. Cruise packages, travel insurance offers and holiday loans are also used to bait people planning the perfect summer escape.

“You should do quick research on the Web site you are using before you book a flight or buy hotel stay. Also have a look on the comments on the site and its services,” Bitdefender said.

Also, you should never open files attached to these e-mails and announce your travel plans on social networks. “An empty house can be extremely tempting for burglars. Securing your virtual world can help secure your physical one,” it said.

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Published on March 24, 2013
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