Gareth Shaw, Head of Money at Which?, said:
“The sad reality is that as scammers get more sophisticated, many people are still falling victim, with increasing numbers of holidaymakers being left severely out of pocket.
“To show they are serious about winning the battle against fraudsters, the Government, police and banking industry must now work together to better protect victims of fraud and prevent these type of scams from occurring in the first place.”
Notes to eds:
- How to spot a holiday scam:
- If the price for your flight or holiday is considerably cheaper than the average cost elsewhere, you should be suspicious. Charging significantly less is often a sign that there may be a scammer behind the offer.
- Looking out for official logos is a good way to check the authenticity of holiday booking, travel agent and tour operators.
- Popular holiday booking websites such as Airbnb and Holiday Lettings are a great place to find accommodation at a reasonable price, but watch out for fake listings – scammers have figured out that they can use the popularity of these sites to dupe people and make some quick cash.
- If a bank transfer is your only option for payment, this should set alarm bells ringing. You should be especially cautious if you’re asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. Paying by direct bank transfer means your money will be very difficult to trace should something go wrong and is not refundable.
- Do a thorough search to check the company’s credentials. If a company is defrauding people, there’s a good chance you will find out pretty quickly by reading several reviews.
- Getting something for free is incredibly rare and so if you’re being offered a free holiday, you should be on your guard. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be careful of secondary ticketing sites. Scammers know which events are popular and which have limited tickets, so will try and take advantage of people willing to pay high prices.
- For more on how to spot a holiday scam, visit: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-spot-a-holiday-scam
- Which? reveals six sneaky new holiday scams to be aware of (2018): https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/09/top-six-sneaky-new-holiday-scams/