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Close to a third of Singaporeans scammed or nearly scammed when booking a holiday online: Survey

SINGAPORE — Nearly a third of Singaporeans said they have been scammed — or nearly scammed — when booking a holiday online, based on a survey by American cybersecurity firm McAfee released on Wednesday (June 12).

Close to a third of Singaporeans scammed or nearly scammed when booking a holiday online: Survey
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SINGAPORE — Nearly a third of Singaporeans said they have been scammed — or nearly scammed — when booking a holiday online, based on a survey by American cybersecurity firm McAfee released on Wednesday (June 12).

The firm also found that the top holiday destinations for Singaporeans which hackers are targeting through malicious sites include:

  1. Taipei, Taiwan

  2. London, United Kingdom

  3. Bali, Indonesia

  4. Hong Kong

  5. Tokyo, Japan

  6. Kyoto, Japan

CHECK BEFORE YOU BOOK

These are the key findings of the survey, which polled 500 adults in Singapore on their holiday booking habits:

  • 29 per cent of Singaporeans have been scammed or nearly scammed when booking a holiday online.

  • 23 per cent of scam victims said they realised the site or reservation method they used was fraudulent only when they turned up at their holiday rental to find the booking was invalid.

  • 23 per cent of respondents said they do not check the authenticity of a website before booking a holiday online, while 33 per cent said it did not cross their mind to check.  

  • 34 per cent of the victims were scammed after they saw a great offer which turned out to be fake. 

  • 30 per cent of respondents booked holidays through email promotions and pop-up advertisements.

HOW HACKERS OPERATE

Cybercriminals drive unsuspecting users to potentially malicious websites that can be used to install malware, steal personal information and even capture passwords, said McAfee.

In addition to planting malware-ridden search results, hackers send malicious links through text messages, emails and pop-up advertisements to lure bargain hunters.

HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED

  • According to McAfee, users should click on websites that have been authorised as safe by the security software in their devices.

  • Use trusted platforms and do not be easily lured by advertisements of discounted rates.

  • Make sure the device’s connection is secure. For instance, use a virtual private network when conducting transactions on a public Wifi connection.

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