Holiday Booking Fraud - Don't Become a Victim!
As the summer fast approaches and booking your summer holiday is your main focus, take a moment to consider this latest report from Action Fraud.
Run by the City of London Police, Action Fraud reported earlier this month that holiday booking fraud had again risen year on year by 25%. Over 4,700 holidaymakers were scammed out of more than £6.7 million pounds when booking large ticket items such as holiday accommodation, flights and package holidays amongst other items. However, we believe this figure to be much higher, as many people do not report when they have been scammed.
The impact fraudsters have is not just a monetary issue, over 2,245 of those scammed suffered health and wellbeing problems with 575 requiring medical treatment as the stress over the loss was so great!
Airline ticket fraud took first place with sales of bogus tickets accounting for 47% of all fraud cases reported. Second place goes to holiday accommodation where 38% of reported cases were bookings made on fake or hacked websites, where holidaymakers lost a whopping £2.5m to fraudsters!
How the fraudsters work - They set up fake websites offering amazing deals on packages holidays, flights, holiday accommodation, car hire and airport transfers, to name but a few. They look so convincing that you believe them to be real companies, and because we are so trusting, we book as we don't want to miss out on the deal of a lifetime.
Don't become the next victim and follow our tips to stay safe when booking online:
- Make sure the website you are booking through is well known and trusted. The website address should start with "HTTPS".
- Be sure the website is not a copycat site. The website might have a logo you recognise of one of the top brands, but the web address might be a .org or a .net. Most reputable companies operate a .com or .co.uk website.
- Pay using a credit card where possible and avoid paying by bank transfer.
- Trust your instincts. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- Always check the terms and conditions of booking prior to confirming and paying any deposits
- Do your research thoroughly and don't be afraid to ask for help before making a booking and parting with your hard earned cash
Veraccom is in the process of building up its portfolio of verified holiday accommodation, which you can book in the safe knowledge that all owners and properties have been verified. You can sign up for our newsletter below and we will keep you informed of our new properties as they come online and news items.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 20 40 - doing so could save others falling victim to such scams.