Scammers want to wreck your business, vacation travel

FTC, FBI warn of unwanted travel companions: scammers, fraudsters.

Yes I suppose it is what it is, but sadly you can't travel on business or vacation and let your electronic guard down.  

The Federal Trade Commission recently published a few scams it was warning travelers to be on the lookout for including:

The late night front desk call: You think you're getting a late-night call from the front desk telling you there's a problem with your credit card, and they need to verify the number, so you read it to them over the phone. But it's really a scammer on the line. If a hotel really had an issue with your card, they would ask you to come to the front desk.

+More on Network World: FBI warns businesses "Man-in-the-E-Mail" scam escalating+

The pizza delivery deal: In another scam, you find a pizza delivery flyer slipped under your hotel door. You call to order, and they take your credit card number over the phone. But the flyer is a fake, and a scammer now has your info. Before you order, make sure you check out the business, or get recommendations from the front desk. 

The fake Wi-Fi network: You search for Wi-Fi networks and find one with the hotel's name. But it turns out it's only a sound-alike and has nothing to do with the hotel. By using it, you could give a scammer access to your information. Check with the hotel to make sure you're using the authorized network before you connect.

No skim zone: Scammers use cameras, keypad overlays, and skimming devices -- like a realistic-looking card reader placed over the factory-installed card reader on an ATM or gas pump -- to capture the information from your card's magnetic strip without your knowledge and get your PIN.

Laptop larceny: If you travel with a laptop, keep a close eye on it -- especially through the shuffle of airport security -- and consider carrying it in something less obvious than a laptop case. A minor distraction in an airport or hotel is all it takes for a laptop to vanish. At the hotel, store your laptop in the safe in your room. If that's not an option, keep your laptop attached to a security cable in your room and consider hanging the "do not disturb" sign on your door.

Hijacked Ads: Some scammers hijack a real rental or real estate listing by changing the email address or other contact information, and placing the modified ad on another site. The altered ad may even use the name of the person who posted the original ad. In other cases, scammers have hijacked the email accounts of property owners on reputable vacation rental websites.

Phantom Rentals: Other rip-off artists make up listings for places that aren't for rent or don't exist, and try to lure you in with the promise of low rent, or great amenities. Their goal is to get your money before you find out.

The FBI a while back warned travelers of malicious software infecting laptops and other devices linked to hotel Internet connections. At the time the FBI wasn't specific about any particular hotel chain, nor the software involved but stated "malicious actors are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while they are establishing an Internet connection in their hotel rooms."

The FBI recommends that all government, private industry, and academic personnel who travel abroad take extra caution before updating software products through their hotel Internet connection. Checking the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to see if it corresponds to the software vendor may reveal an attempted attack. The FBI also recommends that travelers perform software updates on laptops immediately before traveling, and that they download software updates directly from the software vendor's website if updates are necessary while abroad."

The FBI said typically travelers attempting to set up a hotel room Internet connection were presented with a pop-up window notifying the user to update a widely used software product. If the user clicked to accept and install the update, malicious software was installed on the laptop. The pop-up window appeared to be offering a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available.

Tags network securityFederal Trade Commissionsecurity

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