As the temperatures rise and summer approaches, so do the schemes of cybercriminals looking to exploit unsuspecting individuals. Whether you’re planning a vacation, gearing up for outdoor activities, or simply enjoying some downtime, it’s crucial to remain vigilant against the wide array of scams that tend to surge during this time of the year. In this article, we’ll uncover three of these common scams, shed some light on their deceptive tactics and discuss practical ways to safeguard ourselves.

Vacation Rental Scams:

One prevalent scam during summer break involves fake vacation rentals advertised on popular platforms. These scams typically involve malicious actors creating convincing listings for vacation properties, complete with stolen photos and enticing descriptions. Unsuspecting vacationers may book these rentals, only to find upon arrival that the property either doesn’t exist or isn’t as advertised. The allure of discounted rates and picturesque accommodations often blinds individuals to the red flags. The urgency to secure a booking before the summer rush can also cloud judgment, making this scam particularly effective. Scams like these may be especially dangerous if the bad actor is attempting to lure an individual to an unsafe location. Extreme caution should be used when booking advertised vacation rentals, especially if it is not through accredited forums, hospitality industries, or travel agencies.

Phishing Emails Offering Summer Deals:

Another tactic employed by cybercriminals during summer break is phishing emails promising irresistible summer deals. These emails may appear to come from legitimate travel agencies, airlines, or online retailers, offering exclusive discounts or promotions. The sense of urgency created by limited time offers can lure unsuspecting victims into being scammed. Without verifying the sender, they may miss the fact that it is not coming from the actual company, but rather a bad actor impersonating them. Clicking on any links or downloading attachments within these emails can lead to malware infections, identity theft, or financial loss. Scammers may even send these types of fraudulent offers through text message.

Fake Event Tickets and Excursions:

Summer brings a plethora of events, concerts, and outdoor excursions, making it prime time for scammers to peddle counterfeit tickets or fraudulent tour packages. Whether it’s tickets to a popular music festival, a guided tour of a tourist destination, or passes to an amusement park, fraudsters capitalize on the excitement surrounding these events to dupe unsuspecting buyers. These scams often thrive on the secondary market that resell tickets, or through unverified online sellers, promising discounted tickets, or exclusive access. In the case of a targeted attack, scammers may send a phishing email to a specific target that they have researched, promoting tickets to an event they might enjoy. The eagerness to secure tickets for sought-after events or experiences can override skepticism, making consumers vulnerable to exploitation.

Protective Measures:

  • Verify Listings and Sellers: Before booking a vacation rental or purchasing event tickets online, conduct thorough research. Verify the legitimacy of the rental property or ticket seller by checking reviews, contacting the owner or organizer directly, and confirming details through reputable sources.
  • Exercise Caution with Email Offers: Be wary of unsolicited emails offering summer deals or promotions. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unfamiliar senders. Instead, visit the official website of the purported sender directly to validate the offer. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
  • Use Secure Payment Methods: When making online purchases, use secure payment methods such as credit cards or reputable third-party payment services. Avoid wiring money or using unconventional payment methods that offer little recourse in the case of fraud.


As you embark on your summer adventures, remember to stay vigilant against the various scams lurking in the digital landscape. By familiarizing yourself with common tactics used by cybercriminals and implementing proactive security measures, you can safeguard yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to summer break scams. Remain cautious, stay informed, and enjoy a safe, scam-free summer season.