Holidays are usually a time for relaxation, to experience new things and revel in the untold adventures of another culture. Fraudsters know this and work doubly hard to target unsuspecting holiday makers, especially just after Christmas and during peak holiday season. Demand for travel and accommodation is usually higher during these periods. People naturally search for the best available prices although availability will inevitably be lower. It’s understandingly easy to be lured into purchasing what might seem to be a real bargain. When you combine with the thrill and excitement of going away, it is easy to inadvertently make oneself more vulnerable to fraudsters.
The two most common types of holiday frauds are airline ticket and accommodation booking. Airline ticket fraud is when a person assumes they are booking a flight and either receive a fake ticket, or their ticket never turns up at all. Similarly, holiday accommodation fraud is where a person believes that they are booking genuine accommodation only to arrive at their destination to find either no accommodation or a place to stay that is substandard and quite clearly not what was advertised online.
Many fall victims to booking non-existing villas. The criminals take your money before you arrive, and you may be left with no accommodation at all or substandard living quarters to enjoy while away on your holidays.
These fraudsters will stop at nothing to get their hands on your cash and those who have fallen prey experience tremendous emotional and financial impact…many of which can be serious and long lasting.
Follow Reassura’s tips to avoid becoming a victim of holiday fraud:
- Ensure that any website you use to book tickets and/or accommodation is secure. That means the website should begin with https:// (along with a padlock icon in the browser)
- Book your holidays with a credit card as this offers more protection in the event of fraud
- Check reviews for the holiday company. If there are only a handful of reviews this might be a “red flag”.
- Consider using http://abta.com/ to book your holiday with confidence. This company offers practical tips and advice to book your holiday
- Research the travel company fully beforehand (Credentials, cancellation policies, terms and conditions)
- Talk to friends and family first about your holiday plans and seek word of mouth advice and recommendations
- Extreme caution is advised upon receiving unsolicited letters, phone calls and emails from companies offering ‘great deals’. Conduct in-depth research and vet companies that are offering a good deal – do not take leave of your senses in the excitement of having discovered a “mega deal” – If an offer sounds too good to be true, It isn’t true at all.
- Be aware of the ‘pressure tactics’ used by fraudsters. They will often say that “Today is the last day of this amazing holiday deal”, or “There are only a few places left”. Trust your instincts as they will often be right!
If you have been a victim of a holiday fraud contact Action Fraud to report the crime: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud along with the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are here to help you avoid falling for a scam. For more information visit https://reassura.com or call 0800 888 6400