PNP warns public vs ‘vacation scams’

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
PNP warns public vs �vacation scams�
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. leads the pre-launch of the "Bagong Pilipinas" campaign at the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on January 24, 2024.
STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — People planning to travel for leisure should be wary of so-called vacation scams.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) issued the warning, citing a spike in cases of travel accommodation or tour scams.

Data from the police Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) showed that there were 313 cases of vacation scams last year, an increase of 243.95 percent compared to 91 incidents in 2022.

From January to February, the ACG logged 35 cases.

 The ACG said vacation scams are information and communications technology-enabled crimes wherein perpetrators impersonate legitimate establishments and offer cheap accommodations.

Victims find out that their reservations were non-existent when they arrive at their destinations.

 PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said vacation scam cases have been increasing amid the so-called revenge travel as more people are eager to go out after the restrictions due to the COVID pandemic have been lifted.

 Fajardo advised the public to transact only with authorized travel agencies to avoid being victimized.

She said online posts offering cheap tour packages should be a red flag to vacationers.

“They say that if it’s too good to be true, probably it’s not true,” Fajardo said.

Online scammers preyed on tourists booking accomodations at various resorts, especially during the Holy Week break, according to earlier reports.

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