Overseas travel scam: Warning for Australians heading on overseas holidays

Australians preparing to fly overseas on holiday to escape the cold this winter are being urged to protect themselves from scams.

NAB has issued a fraud alert for Australian overseas travellers as criminals are expected to target major sporting events and large international concerts in Europe and America.

Aside from ticket fraud, travellers are also being urged to be on the lookout for scams that impersonate travellers on accommodation or booking websites, as well as scams involving overcharges or false charges. All three types of fraud occur overseas, according to Chris Sheehan, NAB Executive, Group Investigations.

“Just as you plan visas and check the weather at your destination, it is also important to be aware of common scams in the countries you visit so you can spot the warning signs and protect yourself,” Mr Sheehan said.

Sheehan said travel scammers prey on travelers’ emotions, such as fear of missing out, fatigue and excitement, which can be heightened in unfamiliar surroundings or when people are looking for a bargain or managing a budget.

“The pressure to act immediately is a red flag in ticket and accommodation fraud, while in fraud cases involving overcharges or false charges, distraction and missing details are the main reasons,” he said.

Mr Sheehan, a former senior Australian Federal Police officer, recommended that travellers tell their bank where and when they were travelling, as this could help monitor transactions more closely for suspicious activity.

“If you get into trouble, contact your bank as soon as possible,” he said.

“You can often block and unblock your cards with just a click of the mouse in your bank’s app or online banking.”

About a third of Australians say they save money for a holiday, according to data from NAB Economics.

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