There’s no navigating around it: the travel industry is a frequent target of fraud.

Spanish travel agency Destinia makes sure fraud doesn’t get in the way of running their business and delivering an awesome experience to their good customers. They use machine learning to monitor and stop high-risk purchases, grounding travel fraud before it takes off.

We looked at a sampling of travel data to discover more about how travel fraudsters work. You can see the findings in our “Hot Routes of Travel Fraud” infographic (below).

Some highlights:

  • Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Colombia, Morocco, and Mexico are among the preferred destinations for fraudsters.
  • Cancun, Mexico comes in as the most fraudulent city when it comes to hotel reservations.
  • Domestic flights between Jakarta, Indonesia and Bali, Indonesia are most likely to be fraudulent.

So, why are online travel bookings such a hot target for fraudsters? Because they:

  • Often involve third parties: fraudsters can pose as travel agencies to scam real travelers
  • Are high-ticket items: The average transaction price of a fraudulent travel booking is between $283-588, so a fraudster’s payoff is lucrative for a faulty transaction.
  • Are intangible: Bookings don’t need to be picked up, or re-sold like a physical item.
  • Are perishable and happen fast!: Travel bookings lose their value as soon as the date of the booking passes, so a fraudster is often in the clear once they actually cash out or use the fraudulent ticket or room. The time between a fraudulent transaction and the expiration can be as little as a few hours, so companies are racing against the clock to detect and block a bad purchase.

Check out our case study for more on how Destinia uses machine learning to combat travel fraud and deliver an awesome user experience to globetrotters. Or read more about how Sift Science helps travel companies.

Download the Hot Routes of Travel Fraud infographic!


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