Cruise industry leaders have warned Australians to be on the alert after a family from Kentucky in the USA had their holiday plans ruined when cruel cruise scammers found their details on Facebook.

Tiffany Banks was shocked when she received an email two days before her cruise, telling her that her Carnival cruise had been cancelled.

She called Carnival Cruises and questioned the cancellation, but the cruise line told her they were unable to assist as the booking had been officially cancelled by a member of the travelling party. Banks was angry and upset, after spending around $22,500 on the suite for her family and flights.

Luckily, Carnival investigated. Banks and her husband had shared a ‘cruise countdown’ a few days prior, a digital countdown to a cruise that Carnival sends out to be shared on social media by cruisers.

However, the couple had shared a screenshot of the email, rather than the link itself. This screenshot contained their booking reference details. Carnival told Banks that the same day that video was shared, a Carnival account had been created with their booking number, from an IP address in British Colombia, Canada. Impersonating the Banks family, this fake account went ahead and cancelled the cruise.

The Independent reported that Carnival offered USD$10,400 in cruise credit to Banks if she would share on social media that the issue was resolved positively.

Banks was not happy with the offer, instead demanding a public apology and her money back.

Carnival Cruises did not comment on the specific case, but shared a statement with the Daily Express US.

“While we are not going to comment on any specific guest complaint or incident, it is never a good idea to post personal information about your travel plans, including a confirmation number for a booking, which could allow a bad actor or identify thief to use that information in inappropriate or even illegal ways.”

Public opinion split

Social media commenters have been split on whether Banks is to blame and she should be happy with the compensation offered, or if Carnival should do more to amend the situation.

One commenter wrote: “Sharing your social security number doesn’t give permission for thieves to use either, but whose job is it to keep it private?”

Another wrote: “I am surprised they are refunded anything. I would think anyone would be smart enough to not post the booking number.”

Others felt it shouldn’t be so easy to simply cancel a trip.

“It should not be so easy to cancel a trip with one click. Hell I have to go through 3 screens to empty my Amazon cart.”

A Carnival Cruise Line ambassador john Heald has warned in the past about scammers in the travel industry.