Ski Holiday Scam Alert

As the UK receives a months’ worth of rain in one day some of us are lucky enough to start thinking about booking a ski holiday. Like all holiday bookings this has become a minefield. The fact that a very dubious operator took out a full-page advert in The Guardian last weekend shows the lengths these fraudsters will go to. Super luxury chalets appear on very attractively presented websites at bargain prices. Unfortunately, although many of the chalets and apartments do actually exist these sellers do not have the right to rent them out and just disappear with your money.

RENT FROM THE “RIGHT PEOPLE” (SEE BELOW) AND ONLY PAY USING A CREDIT CARD

Tips and Advice

  • Pay safe – When you pay for any good or service over a £100 with a credit card you are protected by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act from most fraud. This does not exist if you pay with a debit card or bank transfer. PayPal does have its own protection but is limited to 180 days and is not as all encompassing. A lot of fake accommodation websites insist on bank transfers, AVOID!
  • Where to rent from and how – Certain websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway have payment protection guarantees to protect you if you pay through their payment system. If an owner asks you to pay outside of the system, (even for a discount), do not do this as it’s a sure sign of a scam
  • Follow the crowd – Check out the reviews of any rental site, if you can’t find many, AVOID
  • Spot the scam – If the deal looks too good to be true, it’s a scam. If the only contact number is a mobile also be cautious
  • Is the website on a scam list? – The website chaletowners.com maintains a list of scam sites
  • Booking a package holiday – If you are booking a holiday with the flight and accommodation only use companies which are members of ABTA. Click on the link to check if they are members.
  • ID Protection –  If you’re worried about identity fraud and would like to protect your identity contact CIFAS
  • Still Unsure? – Call Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisor’s will help you to stay safe

 

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.

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