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Fraud warning for UK holidaymakers

09 May 2017 08:18

Holidaymakers have been given a fraud warning

Holidaymakers have been given a fraud warning

Holidaymakers have been urged to stay vigilant against potential scams.

New data from ActionFraud points to a 19% rise in booking scams between 2015 and last year - with 5,826 reported cases.

And the organisation, which acts as the country's national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, said airline tickets, online accommodation bookings and time-share sales were the most common areas for scams.

Overall, a sum of £7.2 million was lost to holiday fraud, with the average victim facing a cost of £1,200.

People can cover themselves against holiday-related mishaps by taking out trusted travel insurance. However, it may not protect them against fraud, so it pays to scrutinise deals carefully.

New awareness campaign launched

In light of the figures, a new campaign has been launched by the fraud prevention group Get Safe Online, trade organisation Abta and City of London Police.

Tony Neate from Get Safe Online said the high costs associated with holidays mean they provide the perfect opportunity for cyber criminals.

He advised: " Always do as much research as you can about the organisation you're booking through, and ensure that they are a reputable travel operator that is a member of a recognised trade body like Abta.

"By booking in haste, you could not only risk losing a huge amount of money, but also disappoint family and friends when it comes to that long-awaited escape."

Sporting events

International sporting events are one type of trip where fraud can be a problem, as conmen may offer fake tickets. And bogus cheap flights to far-flung nations are also an issue, with Africa and the Indian subcontinent often targeted.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "Abta is regularly contacted by members of the public who have been caught out by increasingly sophisticated travel-related frauds."

The expert added: "Follow the tips we have put together in partnership with the City of London Police and Get Safe Online to avoid falling victim and to make sure your hard-earned money goes towards your holiday and not lining the pockets of an unscrupulous crook."