The Comeback of Travel: Types of Fraud to Look Out For

The travel industry is thriving following the pandemic, with “revenge travel” becoming the buzzword of the year. Many are making up for lost time and experiences, and with the rising popularity of remote working, the travel industry is experiencing a resurgence. In fact, revenue in the travel and tourism market is projected to surpass an astronomical USD 850 billion in 2023, higher than pre-pandemic numbers.

But at the same time, the travel industry is a hotbed for fraudulent activity. The high resale value of purchases such as flight tickets and hotel bookings makes it an attractive target for fraudsters. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of the types of fraud that can take place in the travel industry.

Fraud in the travel industry

To encourage travel after the pandemic, many businesses such as airlines and hotels began to offer promotions and referral schemes. Fraudsters can take advantage of this by creating fake accounts and using the same promo code over and over again. They also use bots and emulators to amplify this and create fake accounts at scale. This puts genuine users at a disadvantage because fraudsters are able to redeem all the available promotions first.  

Fraudsters can also use stolen credit card information to make purchases such as buying flight tickets and then resell them at discounted prices to unsuspecting users or on the dark web. They may also advertise services to help users book trips but use stolen credit card information to make the transactions. 

Another way fraudsters make unauthorized purchases is through account takeovers (ATOs). ATOs are a goldmine for fraudsters. They’re able to make purchases using stored credit card information and can also take advantage of frequent flier points and hotel rewards programs. Fraudsters may transfer the points to their own account or add themselves as a nominee to redeem flights and other benefits. Since many users didn’t check their accounts during the pandemic, it would be easier for fraudsters to get by undetected.

How SHIELD can help stop travel fraud

Travel businesses fight hard to earn every new customer, and having an overbearing fraud prevention technology can result in false declines and cause friction for genuine users. SHIELD’s technology enables online businesses to stop fraud and boost growth while ensuring a frictionless customer experience.

One of the features of SHIELD’s technology that enables this is the SHIELD ID, the global standard for device identification. The SHIELD ID detects devices linked to multiple accounts and enables travel companies to put a stop to promo and referral abuse. The SHIELD Risk Indicators are also used to identify when and which malicious tools are in use to conduct fraudulent activity. For example, if a fraudster was creating fake accounts to abuse a hotel’s promotional campaign, the SHIELD Risk Indicators would flag that bots and emulators were in use in real-time. 

With world tourism expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2024, it’s imperative that online businesses are proactive in stopping fraud while supercharging growth. 

Find out more about how our technology can help protect your online business from fraud