Skip to main content Skip to chat

Travel and leisure fraud is on the rise — here's how to protect yourself

August 5, 2022

Written by Kelley Keehn

Key takeaways

  • Canadians are getting better at avoiding online scams, but fraudsters have pivoted, and sectors like travel and leisure are being actively targeted.
  • Consumers can protect themselves through credit monitoring, changing passwords frequently, and notifying lenders and organizations whenever they suspect fraud or suspicious activity.
  • Additional steps and precautions to avoid fraud include checking your credit score regularly, paying with your debit or credit card whenever possible, and setting up alerts on your bank account, among others.

Travel and leisure fraud is on the rise — here's how to protect yourself

Just as provinces and travel plans are opening up, fraudsters are buzzing around like mosquitos. Learn how to swat them down flat so they don't ruin your much deserved getaways and entertainment plans this season.

According to a recent report from TransUnion, there's good news when it comes to online scams. Canadians are paying attention to their online activity, and the rate of digital fraud originating in our country decreased in the first quarter of 2022, with suspected online attempts declining by 40.6% from the same quarter last year, inline with the global decrease of 22.6%. 

However, fraudsters have pivoted and sectors like travel and leisure are being actively targeted.

Scammers cashing in on our adventures 

Patrick Boudreau, Head of Identity Management and Fraud Solutions at TransUnion Canada, points out the increase in digital fraud in the travel and leisure sector can be attributed to the economy moving back to pre-pandemic levels, specifically in the travel industry. “Canadians started to get more comfortable with the idea of traveling again, and fraudsters caught on and directed their attention towards the activity spike in this sector."

How to protect yourself 

“Canadians planning to travel in the future can take a number of precautions to protect themselves from fraudsters, including ensuring that they are only providing banking information to legitimate websites and businesses," says Boudreau.

He adds: “Consumers can take steps to protect themselves through credit monitoring, frequently changing passwords, and notifying lenders and organizations whenever they suspect fraud or see suspicious activity." 

Consider these steps this summer to help protect your hard-earned dollars, as well as your credit and identity, from fraudsters:

  • Never click social media or advertising links that ask for your financial or personal information. Go to the website directly and look for the lock icon on your browser bar, ensuring it's a secure site. 
  • Check your credit score regularly or consider credit monitor services. 
  • Pay with your credit or debit card whenever possible. If a vendor doesn't accept a credit or debit card that offers purchase protection, keep in mind you have no recourse to recoup your purchase if it goes sour. 
  • Check your bank and credit card statements, whether you receive them digitally or in the mail. If you find a fraudulent purchase, notify your financial institution immediately. And remember, most banks require you to report within 30 days but it could vary by bank so check beforehand. If you do so past then, you may be on the hook. 
  • Change your passwords often, especially if you suspect suspicious activity. 
  • Never write down passwords and shred documents that contact personal information such as name, address, and social insurance number (SIN). 
  • Set up security alerts such as withdrawal alerts, debit alerts, balance alerts 
  • Thinking of renting a cottage in Muskoka from an ad? Before you send a payment, make sure to check that it's a legitimate property. Fake offers and pictures may look like the real thing, but you don't want a shocking surprise when you arrive at a vacation property that doesn't exist. Look for sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, Marriott home & villa rentals and other companies that have vetted vendors. They have guidelines for getting your money back, if you don't receive what you've been promised. 
  • When purchasing concert tickets online, look for reputable resellers and again, use your credit or debit card for extra protection. Hint: you can check to see if the tickets are real by contacting the venue ticket office. 

Be safe and enjoy your next holiday

Boudreau adds: “All Canadian consumers can access their [credit history], request updates, and add or modify a potential fraud warning online, free of charge, at ocs.transunion.ca."

This article or video (the “Content”), as applicable, is provided by independent third parties that are not affiliated with Tangerine Bank or any of its affiliates. Tangerine Bank and its affiliates neither endorse or approve nor are liable for any third party Content, or investment or financial loss arising from any use of such Content.

The Content is provided for general information and educational purposes only, is not intended to be relied upon as, or provide, personal financial, tax or investment advice and does not take into account the specific objectives, personal, financial, legal or tax situation, or particular circumstances and needs of any specific person. No information contained in the Content constitutes, or should be construed as, a recommendation, offer or solicitation by Tangerine to buy, hold or sell any security, financial product or instrument discussed therein or to follow any particular investment or financial strategy. In making your financial and investment decisions, you will consult with and rely upon your own advisors and will seek your own professional advice regarding the appropriateness of implementing strategies before taking action. Any information, data, opinions, views, advice, recommendations or other content provided by any third party are solely those of such third party and not of Tangerine Bank or its affiliates, and Tangerine Bank and its affiliates accept no liability in respect thereof and do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information in the third party Content. Any information contained in the Content, including information related to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors, is subject to change without notice, and neither Tangerine Bank nor its affiliates are responsible for updating this information.

Tangerine Investment Funds are managed by Tangerine Investment Management Inc. and are only available by opening an Investment Fund Account with Tangerine Investment Funds Limited. These firms are wholly owned subsidiaries of Tangerine Bank. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.