Each year, fraudsters target holiday bookings stealing millions of pounds of holidaymakers’ money.
Not only are consumers losing thousands of pounds each but many holidays are being ruined, with people unable to afford a replacement.
Over the past couple of years, we've joined forces with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, Action Fraud and Get Safe Online to raise awareness of different types of holiday booking fraud and how you can avoid becoming a victim.
See our press release - Report reveals fraudsters conning travellers out of £2.2 million a year
What is holiday booking fraud?
Holiday booking fraud is when consumers hand over money only to discover the holiday, accommodation or flight they paid for doesn’t exist.
Fraudsters are conning unsuspecting holidaymakers and travellers out of millions of pounds each year or leaving them stranded with nowhere to stay through fake websites, false advertising, bogus phone calls and email scams.
What types of bookings are affected?
Fraudsters can target all types of booking, but the following areas are most common. You can read more about what to do to spot fraud for each of these booking types on the buttons below.
Online bookings: Growth in online bookings has led to fraudsters using fake websites – often by slightly changing legitimate web addresses to trick consumers.
Holiday accommodation: Fraudsters often use villa rental websites to advertise holiday villas or apartments that don’t exist. Most scams occur on sites where ‘owners’ advertise their accommodation directly, or where fraudsters clone legitimate sites.
Airline tickets: Consumers book a flight and receive a fake ticket or pay for tickets that never turn up. The main warning sign is not receiving a ticket, or an invoice, straight away.
Package Holidays: Muslims heading for the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Saudia Arabia are a particular target. Events such as the World Cup are also a target for fraudsters offering bogus flights, accommodation or both.
Top tips to help avoid holiday booking fraud
Contact Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or speaking to a specialist advisor on 0300 123 2040.