More than £15m lost to holiday fraud last year

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By Harry Kemble
Home » More than £15m lost to holiday fraud last year

Customers lost more than £15 million in holiday scams in the past year, according to Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.

The centre said it received 6,457 reports of holiday fraud in the year to 31 March from victims who reported losing £15,319,057 – a 41% increase year-on-year.

Each victim lost £2,372 on average.

The top 10 areas for holiday fraud in the UK were: London, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Thames Valley, West Yorkshire, Hampshire, Essex, Sussex. Avon and Somerset and Kent.

People in their 20s and 40s who reported losses accounted for 44% of all reports, which Action Fraud said ‘dispelled the myth that only older people are targeted by fraudsters’.

The most frequent frauds involved ‘clone’ websites, where victims assume they are on a genuine site but the URL is wrong and they hand over money.

There has also been an increase in fraudsters using counterfeit ATOL protect numbers on their fake webpage.

ATOL recommends double checking all numbers on websites and with travel operators before handing making a payment.

Action Fraud has launched a national awareness campaign to urge the public to ‘think twice before booking a holiday’.  

Head of Action Fraud Pauline Smith said fraudsters tended to ramp up their efforts ahead of the summer season and urged people to do their research.

She said: “When booking a holiday here or abroad, it’s important to do you research before handing over any money and to double check any website.

“To avoid the wave of crime this summer, we encourage people to stop, check and research before paying. If it sounds too good to be true – it most definitely is.”

Civil Aviation Authority Head of Consumers and Enforcement Anna Bowles told customers to check reviews and ensure their booking includes all the extras they were expecting.

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