How to avoid AI travel scams for your next vacation

How to avoid AI travel scams for your next vacation

/ 08:28 AM July 01, 2024

Booking your next vacation has never been easier, thanks to the latest technologies. However, some scheming individuals are using these to launch AI travel scams. 

These are conventional travel schemes like fake websites and listings that fool people into sharing personal information and funds.

However, they gained AI-enabled upgrades that make them harder to detect.

READ: Avoiding online love scams


Fortunately, becoming aware of such schemes is the first step to avoiding them. Read further to learn more about AI travel scams and how to beat them. 

Types of AI travel scams

  1. AI-generated travel websites
  2. AI images
  3. Fake AI-generated reviews

1. AI-generated travel websites

This represents typical images from AI travel scams.
Free stock photo from Pexels

Cybersecurity company McAfee reported that phishing is one of the most common types of travel scams. They involve fake websites impersonating reputable ones to fool people into entering personal information.

For example, someone may fake Agoda or Unsuspecting victims would enter sensitive data to try and secure a flight seat or hotel room.

The victims unwittingly share their information and funds with the scammer. Nowadays, these schemes have evolved into AI travel scams as unscrupulous individuals adapt to generative AI.


Tech tips website MakeUseOf says ChatGPT can create and design websites for free. Also, image generators like Stable Diffusion can produce high-quality graphics to mimic reputable websites closely.

Crooks may program AI chatbots to serve as fake travel agents. Fortunately, you can look for signs suggesting a specific website could be AI-generated.


Look at the website’s complete URL. It should begin with “https,” with the “s” meaning “secure.” If it starts with “http,” there is a high possibility that a bad actor is behind the site.

Most reputable platforms use “https” URLs for added security. Also, check for grammatical and spelling errors. Often, real companies focus on spelling because it may reflect on their service quality.

READ: Pandemic fueled VR travel boom

Verify the company’s online presence by checking social media. See if the official Facebook or Twitter page has proper information. 

Read comments on their posts to see what other people think of them. Also, avoid the company if its profile’s creation dates back a few months ago or earlier. It’s a bad sign if the company barely has any posts and user engagement.

2. AI images

This represents typical images from AI travel scams.
Free stock photo from Pexels

Social media posts often inspire peoples’ next holiday destinations. For example, you may have seen a beautiful, pantropical paradise while scrolling through your feed.

Even better, the image is part of a gallery revealing huge flight and hotel discounts to that beach.

However, you may have entered part of an AI travel scam using fake images. 

Midjourney and similar tools can generate nearly anything you can think of in the most visually appealing style. As a result, they can help scammers make more convincing schemes. 

If you see prices too good to be true, they probably are. Compare them with similar services from well-known establishments.

READ: Google search gains new AI features

If they deviate too much from the average price, it might be part of an AI travel scam. Moreover, look closely at vacation pictures to spot characteristics that are impossible in real life. 

For example, an AI-generated image might have a dog with five legs playing fetch with its owner. It’s becoming tougher to spot AI-generated images, but you may catch some with this method.

3. Fake AI-generated reviews

This represents typical images from AI travel scams.
Free stock photo from Pexels

The earlier section recommended checking online reviews to choose your next vacation spot.

Unfortunately, scammers know this tactic, so they post fake reviews for their phishing websites.

A glance may show numerous positive reviews from multiple people. Nowadays, artificial intelligence can write and post hundreds of these in minutes. 

That is why you should look for patterns in these reviews. You may notice that these reviewers follow a specific format in their critiques.

If you notice a pattern, it might be a sign that these are fake reviews.

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Then, click on the people behind these comments. If they recently made their profiles and have no posts or pictures, these profiles are likely facilitating an AI travel scam.

TOPICS: AI, technology
TAGS: AI, technology

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