Brocker.Org: Scammers are out to wreck your vacation travel plans


You may be ready to take off for summer, but rest assured, credit-card thieves are still hard at work.

While rates of online fraud attacks against merchants in the travel industry were down 33 percent in 2016, compared to 2015, consumers who buy online are still vulnerable to fraudsters. That’s according to data from Forter, a San Francisco-based provider of e-commerce fraud prevention and detection services.

Some 15 million bookings are linked to phony websites and call centers, resulting in $1.3 billion in transactions each year, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, an advocacy group that represents the hotel industry.

Hotels may try accommodate guests to the best of their ability in these cases, but if a customer paid a deposit to a scam site, then the money is typically lost, said Katie Longo, a spokeswoman for the association.