Sunday, June 16, 2024

Major warning to Aussies travelling to Europe and the US

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Australians looking to trade in the colder weather for summer in the US and Europe have been sent a stern warning.

Scammers and criminals are expected to be out in force this summer in the Northern Hemisphere, with major events including the Olympics in Paris and Taylor Swift concerts across Europe.

Experts are warning holidaymakers to be on alert for three scams in particular while travelling overseas this year.

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  • Accommodation or booking website impersonation scams
  • Ticket scams for major events
  • Overcharging or wrong charge scams

“We know these three scams are happening overseas,” NAB Executive Group Investigations Chris Sheehan said.

“Just like you’d plan visas and check the weather at your destination, it’s also vital to be aware of common scams in the countries you’re visiting so you can recognise the red flags and protect yourself.”

Sheehan, who is also a former Australian Federal Police executive, said a third of Australians are currently saving money for an overseas holiday, according to data from NAB Economics.

While some may be booking tickets to cheer on Australia at the Paris Olympics, others may be looking for the perfect holiday with family or friends, however “heightened emotions in an unfamiliar environment” can be used by scammers to their advantage.

“The pressure to act now is a red flag in ticket and accommodation scams, while overcharging or wrong charging scams play on distraction and a lack of detail,” Sheehan said.

“If you find yourself in trouble, get in touch with your bank as soon as possible.

“You can often block and unblock your cards in your bank’s app or internet banking at the click of a button.”

Travellers are also encouraged to let their banks know they are heading overseas so they can help monitor your transactions for suspicious activity while you’re away.

Visit Smartraveller for the latest international travel advice and warnings.

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