Overseas travel scam: Warning for Australians heading on overseas holidays

Australians preparing to holiday abroad this winter to escape the cold are being urged to get “fraudulent” and protect themselves from scams.

The NAB has issued a fraud alert for Australian travelers heading overseas, with criminals reportedly targeting major sporting events and major international concerts in Europe and America.

According to Chris Sheehan, NAB’s executive director, Group Investigations, in addition to ticket scams, travelers are also urged to be aware of phishing scams on accommodation or booking websites, as well as overcharging or mischarging scams, all three of which types of scams happen abroad.

“Just like planning your visas and checking the weather at your destination, it’s important to be aware of common scams in the countries you’re visiting so you can spot the red flags and protect yourself,” Mr Sheehan said.

Mr Sheehan said travel scams played on passengers’ emotions, including fear of being delayed, fatigue and agitation, which could increase in unfamiliar surroundings or if people were focused on finding a bargain or managing a budget.

“The pressure to act now is a red flag for fare and accommodation scams, while overcharging or mischarging scams play on distraction and a lack of detail,” he said.

Mr Sheehan, who is a former chief executive of the Australian Federal Police, recommended that travelers tell their bank where and when they are traveling, as this could help more accurately monitor transactions for suspicious activity.

“If you find yourself in trouble, contact your bank as soon as possible,” he said.

“You can often block and unblock your cards with the click of a button in your banking app or online banking.”

About a third of Australians say they are saving money for their holidays, according to data from NAB Economics.

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