Hotline.ie issues warning about bogus holiday booking e-mails
Users advised to keep anti-virus software current
TechLife | 14 May 2012 :
Cyber criminals are capitalising on the holiday season by sending fake booking confirmation e-mails containing attachments that when opened, downloads malicious software which installs on their computer and captures the user's passwords, logons and identity. That's according to Internet watchdog Hotline.ie, which has issued a warning to users to be on the lookout for scam messages.
These e-mails are being sent at random in the hope that users will mistake the fraudulent e-mails as confirmation of a recent booking. According to the Central Statistics Office, over 62% of Irish Internet users book their holiday destinations and accommodation online, requiring key personal information and credit card details.
Paul Durrant, manager, Hotline.ie (pictured), said: "Booking a holiday and hotel online is perfectly safe and secure. The cyber criminals can't easily break into that so instead, they are attempting to trick you into believing their spam e-mail is a receipt for a booking you may have made.
"The spam e-mails are purely random but with so many booking holidays online at this time of year, the criminals have realised their spam will reach many people who have recently completed a legitimate holiday booking... The simple remedy is [to] never open unexpected e-mails with attachments without first checking where it has come from, and keep your anti-virus software up to date."
Hotline,ie, run by the Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland since 1999 and is part financed by the European Commission's Safer Internet Plus Programme, supervised by the Department of Justice, Office for Internet Safety (OIS) in cooperation with An Garda Síochána. It is also a member of INHOPE, the International Network of Hotlines.