Fraud agency warns holidaymakers to be on lookout for online scams

Holiday fraud
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Fraud agency warns holidaymakers to be on lookout for online scams

National fraud and cyber crime reporting agency Action Fraud has launched a campaign warning people to do their research before booking trips online as new data shows holidaymakers lost £12.3 million last year.

Action Fraud said 6,640 holidaymakers reported they were ripped off last year, with an average loss of £1,851 per person.

The highest number of reported scams was in July and August, at 804 and 781 respectively.

Head of Action Fraud Pauline Smith said: “As people think ahead to book their holidays, understandably everyone is increasingly on the lookout for the best deals. With the cost-of-living crisis squeezing our finances, it’s easy to forget to stay vigilant against fraudsters offering cheaper deals and great prices that are too good to be true.”

Advice from Action Fraud includes checking for ABTA and ATOL logos before booking. ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said:  “Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated methods to target consumers, with a particular focus on destinations and times of year when demand is high and availability limited, as they know people will be looking for good deals. 

“Victims will often only find out they have been defrauded just before they are due to travel, or even in resort, when it can be very difficult to find a legitimate replacement leading to yet more cost and potential disappointment. 

“One of the simplest ways to protect yourself when booking is to look for a company that is a member of ABTA when booking your holiday.”

Anna Bowles, Head of Consumers and Enforcement at the CAA added: “Some protective measures include visiting the website to check your package trip is financially protected by ATOL, pay by credit card if you can, and take out travel insurance as soon as you book.”

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