BUSINESS + ECONOMY warns of uptick in travel scams

Jun 24, 2024, 3:04 PM | Updated: 3:31 pm

A Delta Airlines flight experiences turbulence, causing the injury of three passengers. (Photo by B...

FILE:A Delta Airlines flight experiences turbulence, causing the injury of three passengers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — is warning travelers of a 900% increase in scams. BBC reported that the uptick has been attributed to artificial intelligence. 

Tune in to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News

According to ABC News, AI can make extremely convincing emails, leading victims to click on links and send money to scammers when they think they’re actually booking a trip. 

Additionally, AI is being used to write fake reviews and travel guides. 

Some victims have reported ordering travel guidebooks on Amazon, thinking they were getting quality information. When the book arrives, they learned they had purchased a book full of AI-generated information. 

The ABC News report said the content is becoming harder to spot. It can generate images and text that appear to be more real than older types of phishing content. 

Avoiding travel scams

Experts warn travelers to be extra skeptical about links and flyers that you receive. 

Additionally, Business Insider provided tips for spotting the aforementioned AI-generated travel guides. 

First, read the reviews. Pay attention to the contrast between one- and five-star reviews. If more critical reviews say the text is not high-quality, it may be AI-generated. 

During an investigation into AI-generated content and reviews, the New York Times used a browser extension called FakeSpot. It works to detect reviews that might have been computer generated, per Business Insider. 

Also, pay attention to images of the author. Often, AI-generated portraits will have deformities that might go undetected at first glance. Business Insider recommends looking for blurry backgrounds and odd deformities. 

The Federal Trade Commission also provided advice for protecting yourself from travel scams. 

According to the FTC, the first step in avoiding scams is knowing which are the most common methods. 

Sometimes, companies will contact you offering a “free” vacation. But later, they will ask you to pay taxes or fees on it. 

Scammers will also keep trip details vague and pressure you to make a rushed decision. If you are approached by one of these vague offers, ask for details, such as hotel addresses or company names. If they can’t provide them, walk away. 

Even if they do provide them, do the research. 

Finally, the FTC said ignore anyone selling vacations through wire transfers, gift cards or cryptocurrency. The website said the money will be very difficult to get back, and that it’s “a scam, every time.” 

Related: As voting scams go around, officials say contact counties directly

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