Over the weekend we launched our annual travel fraud campaign with our partners City Of London Police and Get Safe Online. The campaign was supported by a new National Fraud Intelligence Bureau report, which revealed that in 2017, 4,700 people had reported being the victim of travel related fraud losing a total of £6.7million.
Travel related fraud causes not only significant financial losses for victims, but often also severe emotional distress. One of the key messages of the campaign, supported by both the police and Get Safe Online, is to book with an ABTA Member by looking for the ABTA logo as a safeguard against this particularly despicable crime.
The campaign gained widespread national and local media coverage in print, in broadcast and online, with ABTA spokespeople featuring in TV and radio interviews. Broadcast highlights included interviews on BBC Breakfast, Sky Sunrise and Radio 5 Live, in total we featured in over 100 TV and radio broadcasts. This year we particularly targeted media in areas where people had purchased fake airline tickets to Asia and Africa; this will also help to raise awareness of the importance of booking with an ABTA Member travel company in these markets. The campaign was also supported by our social media channels - all of which helped to drive traffic to a dedicated advice page on abta.com.
The anti-fraud initiative also complements our ongoing Travel with Confidence campaign and we are currently running the latest strand of our national advertising – this time targeting business travellers. The advert appears on over 60 booking sites which regularly feature a high degree of business travel bookings, helping to encourage customers to book with ABTA travel companies.
Unfortunately, travel businesses are also a tempting target for fraudsters who steal significant sums each year: to learn more about fraud prevention please come and learn from the experts at our Cyber Security and Fraud event in June.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive