Mapped: 10 most dangerous holiday destinations – beware of scams and fake travel offers, experts warn

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British holidaymakers lost more than £12 million to scams last year. To prevent cybercriminals from pulling off the same feat this summer, security researchers have shared a list of the 10 holiday destinations most likely to be used to lure unsuspecting British holidaymakers into scams.


Benidorm is the main target for scammers looking to cheat Britons out of their hard-earned money, experts from anti-virus company McAfee claim. The Spanish seaside resort on the Costa Blanca has the largest number of websites and advertisements with fake offers. Benidorm has risen from ninth place on the list last year.

Berlin and Ibiza follow the Mediterranean destination in second and third place, researchers warned. Meanwhile, the most scammed destination from the 2023 list – Bangkok – now ranks sixth.

a map of the world with the top 10 most scam-prone destinations

McAfee researchers have identified the 10 most scam-prone destinations for Brits looking to travel abroad this summer

MCAFEE | GBN

GB News and McAfee have put together a map of the top 10 most dangerous destinations, so holidaymakers know they need to be on high alert when looking for accommodation, package deals and flights this summer.

If you’re trying to spot scams this summer, be wary of fake accommodation listings and too-good-to-be-true holiday offers via email and social media, McAfee head of EMEA Vonny Gamot told GB News.

If you are trying to book any of the destinations on this list, you will need to do this additional Be careful when booking your summer vacation, whether you want to travel by flight, hotel, rental car or a package deal.

Vonny Gamot said: “Staying alert and taking early and proactive steps to manage your security, privacy and online identity is extremely important as we head into the peak summer holiday season. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it’s best not to click; instead, go straight to the source and book with reputable companies.

“Additionally, with the use of AI, scams are becoming even more sophisticated, making it more difficult for consumers to determine what is real and what is not online. Traditional hallmarks of scams, such as misspelled words and poor grammar, are a thing of the past, but one crucial sign remains: the pressure to act quickly.

“Is this your last chance to buy tickets? Is there a ‘big deal’ for one day only? Cybercriminals use this tactic to catch your guard. Keep a close eye on all the tempting holiday deals online, especially for Benidorm, Berlin and Ibiza , as these are top destinations used by cybercriminals to trick you into divulging personal information or clicking on malware-infected links.”

Top 10 most ‘dangerous’ destinations in 2024

  1. Benidorm, Spain
  2. Berlin, Germany
  3. Ibiza, Balearic Islands
  4. Valletta, Malta
  5. Albufeira, Portugal
  6. Bangkok, Thailand
  7. Maldives, South Asia
  8. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  9. New York, USA
  10. Dublin, Ireland

When shopping online for the summer holidays, there are some precautions you can take to protect yourself from scams.

First, don’t believe a website or social media post just because it looks slick and polished.

Fake websites often rely on professional, modern design to fool you. Reviews are also not always reliable, as websites can pile on positive reviews or delete bad reviews altogether. It’s always worth checking a third-party website, such as Trustpilot, or social media to take the temperature of a website you’re not familiar with.

\u200bBenidorm

Famous for its nightlife and large expat population, Benidorm is one of the most popular destinations for Brits looking for the sun

FLICKR

Finally, even though everyone likes a lot… if something seems suspiciously cheap, it could be a sign that something is wrong, especially if it’s only available from an online store you’ve never heard of. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of a website, do not provide your personal information, including credit or debit card details, home address, email address and date of birth.

Using an antivirus program or VPN can be a good way to increase security when shopping online for a holiday. The best VPNs work through shielding everything you do online with military-grade encryption so malicious websites can’t track your online activity or location data.

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