How To Avoid Holiday Booking Fraud

This is a short article to remind you of the dangers of a fraud that targets holiday makers. With the easing of ‘Lockdown’ we are keen to get away and to bag a good deal in the process. Now we know many of us are not packing a bag to the South Sandwich Islands but there are many other more local locations out there and we need to be careful when booking deals that seem too good to be true.

Think twice when handing over your money.

Whilst this kind of fraud has seen a drop with travel restrictions it was still responsible for losses totalling over £2.2 million.

Almost three quarters of victims are aged between 19 and 50.
56% are from airline tickets
29% from holiday accommodation.
Out of all these reports Facebook was the most common platform with 62% of victims were defrauded.
10% from Booking .com and Air BnB

Be careful when clicking on links, some fraudsters are very convincing. Sadly, some victims only become aware of the fact that they are a victim when they are unable to check in at the airport.

Tops tip to avoid falling victim to holiday fraud
• Stay safe online: check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered by slight changes to a domain name – such as going from .co.uk to .org.

• Do your research: don’t just rely on one review – do a thorough online search to ensure the company is credible. If a company is defrauding people, there is a good chance that consumers will post details of their experience, and warnings about the company.

• Look for the logo: check whether the company is an ABTA Member. Look for the ABTA logo on the company’s website. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA online on their website. If you’re booking a flight and want more information about ATOL protection, or would like to check whether a company is an ATOL holder, visit the CAA website.

• Pay safe: wherever possible, pay by credit card. You should avoid paying directly into a private individual’s bank account.

• Check the paperwork: you should study receipts, invoices and terms and conditions, and be very wary of any companies that don’t provide any at all. When booking through a Holiday Club or Timeshare, get the contract thoroughly vetted by a solicitor before signing up.

• Use your instincts: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For a full list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, please visit https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/planning-and-booking-a-holiday/how-avoid-travel-related-fraud.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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