Online Travel and Hospitality Businesses are Prime Targets for Fraudsters

Thanks to online travel booking services, planning a dream vacation or business trip is often easy, fast, and convenient- an internet connection and a credit card number are all that is needed to book everything required for a trip. However, providing online booking services comes with a higher risk of fraud. Online travel agencies (OTAs) are especially prone to fraud because these businesses provide a suite of travel products such as hotels, flights, and vacation attractions- giving fraudsters more products to target.
Many Consumers Book Services at the Last Minute
The convenience of booking online has also lead to a change in consumer behavior when it comes to travel. Many consumers are now booking flights, trains, hotels, and car rentals at the last minute. Booking at the last minute is a tactic often used by fraudsters because it helps them evade detection. Some fraudsters will also make changes to existing bookings at the last minute.
For example, a fraudster would make a purchase online a few weeks out for a low-risk item like a low-cost hotel room or an economy flight. Then about a day before the reservation date, the fraudster would change that booking to something more expensive and valuable. Since many companies do not review changes to bookings for potential fraud, the fraud would go undetected.
Businesses are Facing Many Types of Online Fraud
Booking at the last minute is just one tactic by fraudsters that online travel and hospitality businesses must be aware of and defend against. Online travel and hospitality businesses are facing many different types of fraud- credit card fraud, new account fraud, account takeover, and loyalty program fraud, to name a few.
Loyalty program fraud is a rapidly growing problem for travel-related companies. Many of these programs offer items that fraudsters consider to be high-value and worth targeting. Among these high-value items are e-gift cards, airline tickets, rental car services, and travel packages. Fraudsters will often take over accounts to gain access to loyalty program rewards.
Not Enough Time for Manual Reviews
Many online travel and hospitality businesses rely on rules-based fraud prevention systems and manual reviews to catch fraudulent transactions. But there’s no time for manual reviews when fraudsters are booking hotels, flights, and rental cars at the last minute. Many of these businesses are unable to complete manual reviews fast enough to catch fraudsters who are booking services at the last minute or making changes to existing bookings a day before the reservation date. However, with the help of machine learning, online travel and hospitality companies can enhance their systems so that more true fraud is detected automatically and less manual reviews are required.
Machines can perform many repetitive tasks at a pace and accuracy that far exceeds human capabilities. And algorithms can be trained and fine-tuned to find patterns in data and transactions that humans cannot. When you add identity data products like the Ekata Identity Check API, online travel and hospitality businesses could implement fraud prevention measures that are highly accurate and keep up with fraudsters various tactics including last-minute online bookings.
You Need the Right Data
Our Identity Check API helps businesses get a clearer picture of customers by leveraging real-time global data, machine learning, and network insights across the five core consumer data attributes of email, phone, person, address, and IP. The API also features Confidence Score which provides a comprehensive assessment of each transaction by leveraging the millions of patterns across our Identity Network and Identity Check’s 70+ data signals.
Modern fraudsters are using fast and sophisticated tactics, which means that online travel and hospitality companies must use both machine-driven and data-driven methods to battle fraud.
Interested in the Ekata Identity Check API? Contact us today to get a live demo.

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