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Holiday scams

Going away this year? Don’t get scammed

If you’re planning to escape this summer for some sun, sea and sand then be sure to know what you’re booking is legit. There are fresh warnings over fraudsters who are hacking into accommodation sites and placing false adverts, asking for deposits and running off with your money.

The figures from Action Fraud report that 4,700 holidaymakers were scammed last year with the victims, on average, being conned out of £1500 each.

With fake airline tickets being the most common culprit and a total of £6.7 million lost last year, do you know how to spot the signs?

Types of scam

  • Accommodation websites – hackers will advertise on booking sites with some asking for a deposit via bank transfer, however as soon as they receive the money they will simply disappear.
  • Fake tickets - low cut-price flights are there to tempt you, especially during school holidays when prices are normally high. Fraudsters know this and cash in on the high demand for getting away during this peak season. In some cases, you might receive a duplicate ticket but more often than not the ticket will never arrive.
  • Adverts on social media – for example fake adverts on Facebook from fraudsters booking families into caravans that they do not own or even exist.

How to avoid being scammed

Research

Always look up the company you are booking from. A quick online search will bring up any reviews from other customers and any warnings if there’s been previous issues.

Use your head

If it looks too cheap then question whether it’s genuine. Look to see if the web address is legitimate, has it been changed from .co.uk to .org and look at the logo. The advice is to check whether a company is a member of a trade body such as ABTA, which you can verify it’s a member on its website.

Method of payment

Alarm bells should start ringing if there’s a request for money via a bank transfer into an individual’s account. Transfers are hard to trace as it’s similar to paying by cash, debit and credit cards are safer.

Terms and conditions

Check any documentation and start asking questions if there isn’t any terms and conditions at all. If you’re booking through a Timeshare then get the contract checked by a solicitor before signing on the dotted line.

 

If you spot something that isn’t right or have been a victim of a scam then report it and stop it happening to someone else. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

What do you think?

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  • John Davies / 7 June

    Re Scams: Ultimately, you can only buy and sell shares in this country through a stock broker whether on-line or not or even if you use a bank or financial adviser they will have to go through a stockbroker, BEWARE of Foreign based firms ringing you up and asking to buy your shares at what seems a better price than the published price. They are usually fraudsters. hang up on them.

  • alex / 30 April

    hi Jordan yes it does

  • JORDAN YOUNG / 12 April

    Does the cash back on credit cards go back on your credit card?