Villa Booking Scam Alert

There is a strange seasonality to a lot of scams and having just got over all the Christmas frauds we are now all facing the Summer holiday booking scams, and specifically when booking a villa or apartment. Fraudsters hijack the details of villas or use fake details to trick people into transferring money. Sadly, this happens a lot, research suggests that even though Airbnb is one of the safer companies they may have had over a million cases of fraud.  ActionFraud had 100 cases a week in 2017 with average losses over £1500.


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.
  • 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.
  • Spot the scam – If the deal looks too good to be true, it’s a scam.
  • Time pressure? –  Fraudsters commonly use time pressure as a tactic to push you into making the wrong decision, if someone starts doing this its often the sign of a scam.
  • Follow the crowd – Does the villa/apartment have lots of reviews? If not be very cautious.
  • Personal means private! – Do not divulge personal details unless you are certain who you are talking to.
  • 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.
  • Contact – your bank or credit card company if you have already given out financial details
  • 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.

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 members make better decisions and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.

For further information or for advice and assistance regarding any potential scam, call Reassura on 0800 888 6400

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