Holiday frauds are on the increase and holidaymakers are being scammed out of millions of pounds a year by fraudsters. Scammers are targeting online holiday booking and accommodation sites to scam unsuspecting customers in to paying for accommodation that is not available or does not even exist. Often the victim only becomes aware they have been scammed when they arrive at their accommodation or destination and find no booking has been made.
What you should know
- Scammers will often ask for payment by direct bank transfer away from the website. They may encourage you to do this by offering discounts for bank transfer payments.
- Often scammers will use photos of accommodation taken from other sites on the web. You can check photos with a reverse image search engine available on the internet. Then check images to see where else on the internet they may have been used.
- The scammer’s advert may state that they belong to a trade body or consumer protection scheme such as the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). Contact the body or scheme to check their credentials.
- Try and research the property and see if it has its own website. Always try and call the owner of a property to confirm they are aware of your potential booking. If their phone number is not provided send an email requesting.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! If it doesn’t feel right ask questions
Check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered by a slight change such as co.uk to .org
Why am I being asked to pay by direct debit bank transfer? Use your credit card to pay so that your purchase is protected
Do your research. Are there any reviews about the company?