RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Before you head out on vacation there’s more to it than making sure you have your essentials, you also have other things to worry about, like scammers. 

Hackers are impersonating real airline and travel websites as they try to steal your identity and cause other havoc in your life. 

These hackers are hiding behind real websites and emails that claim to be from real companies trying to help you with your travel such as a fake phishing email and counterfeit website claiming to be Delta Airlines that were discovered by Check Point Software Technologies.

Pete Nicoletti, the Chief Information Security Officer for the Americas at Check Point says he is seeing a lot of scammers using fake airline ads this year. 

“The reason (is) people are expecting communication from their vendors,” he said. “They click on a link and the malware or identity theft ensues at that point.” 

The Federal Trade Commission reported consumers lost nearly $23.7 million in travel scams for the first half of this year.  

In 2021, the FTC reported losses totaling $95 million, with the median loss per person being just over $1,100.

One scam these criminals use is the super-low flight offer, but when you go to the website connected to it, you’ve being taken for a ride—and not on a jet plane. 

“When the phishing email pops up, there is a fake website behind it,” said Nicoletti.  “They won’t direct you to the legitimate website.” 

Once you are on your vacation, that doesn’t mean the scammers are going to leave you alone. You need to keep your devices secure. A few ways to do that include:

  • Turning off the location services on your devices  
  • Using a virtual private network when online  
  • Taking a spare laptop that doesn’t have critical information on it  
  • Using a prepaid phone  

Knowing the kinds of scams out there can help you avoid them. 

Nicoletti has compiled some advice and precautions you can take before you travel, while you are on vacation and after you return.

The travel website Nomadic Matt has put together a list of the 17 top travel/vacation scams it’s encountered and how to avoid becoming victimized by them.