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Don’t let travel and accommodation scams ruin your trip to the Commonwealth Games

A major sporting event like the Commonwealth Games can be a prime target for cyber criminals.

Over 1.2 million spectators are expected to head to the Gold Coast in April for the Commonwealth Games, the largest sporting event in Australia this decade. Flights and accommodation will be in high demand, so be wary of scammers looking to trick people into handing over their money and personal details.

Take extra care when you book your travel and follow our tips to stay safe online and enjoy the games.

Remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

What does a travel scam look like?

Scammers use emails, social media and websites to target travellers.

If you search for a holiday online, scammers can target you via email and social media. Scam emails or Facebook posts may include a heavily discounted, or even free, travel package. They’ll ask you to hand over your credit card and personal details to prove your identity, for example by giving them your driver licence details.

Some scammers are more sophisticated. They’ll pretend to be property owners or booking agents and post fake copies of genuine rental property ads on real websites, like Airbnb. They’ll also ask you to pay upfront and for your ID.

Stay protected

Follow our easy steps to avoid travel scams:

  • Never click on links in emails that arrive out of the blue offering holiday packages. Delete them and don’t reply.
  • If a suspicious message appears to be from a legitimate company, contact the company directly to confirm it.
  • Don’t use phone numbers or email addresses in the email; verify the correct contact details yourself through an online search or phone book.
  • Book your holiday through an accredited agent or reputable website who manages large volumes of travel and accommodation enquiries every day.
  • If you book online, choose a secure payment method such as PayPal or credit card. If you don’t get what you paid for, you might be able to get your money back.
  • Keep in mind money orders, wire transfers or international funds transfers are not normal or secure ways to pay.

More information

More information is available on how to recover if you’ve been the victim of a scam.

You can also report a scam to Scamwatch.

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