Holiday Booking Fraud on the Increase
Clever fraudsters are sitting around every corner of the internet just waiting to pounce on your hard earned cash when you're looking to book that short break or annual holiday. It's the faceless online business that makes it so difficult to tell right from wrong especially if they're an independent business. How to trust those you've never done business with before leaves you open to all sorts of questions, that you pose to yourself before hitting the "Book Now" button.
Around 6,000 of us hit that "Book Now" button in 2016 without doing any due diligence, giving the fraudsters a whopping £7.2 million pounds of our money in the UK alone not to mention the rest of the world. That's an increase of 20% from 2015. The figure reported does not account for all the unreported cases of travel booking fraud that takes place on a daily basis.
The age groups most likely to be the target of such scams are 20-40 being most vulnerable, who may have tighter budgets and need to make their money go that little bit further, with older generations less likely to be taken in.
Some consumers find it difficult to report crimes of fraud for many different reasons - they won't be compensated, no insurance, not sure who to report the crimes to, fear of being looked upon as inexperienced or gullible. The pain of these experiences has a much more significant impact on peoples health and wellbeing leaving them with the onset of stress and anxiety, not to mention the possibilities of the financial risks. Anyone who feels they have been a victim of fraud should report the incident to actionfraud.police.uk.
The advice from ABTA and actionfraud.police.uk is always to do your due diligence, research and don't book in haste. Offers that look too good to be true often are! December, January, and February are the busiest times of year for booking holidays, but usually, it's not until your due to travel that you find out that you are a victim of fraud, by which time the fraudsters are off with your cash.
Even worse, imagine arriving with all your family in a country you've never been to before, where you know little of the language, only to find the accommodation you thought you had booked does not exist. There are thousands of fake accommodation listings on the internet. From hotels, bed, and breakfast, guest houses, but most of all holiday self-catering accommodation. They all look great, but often the images and descriptions you see have been stolen from other websites. Smart copies make it very difficult to detect what is real and what is fake.
The fraudsters have stricken some of the most prominent holiday accommodation websites, but only a few cases make it to the public attention, leaving you to believe that they are unaffected by the torrent of scams taking place.
You can ensure this does not happen to you, by making sure the accommodation owner is a member Veraccom.com If the accommodation owner is not a member when you decide to book you can prompt them and they can sign up and gain membership before booking your dream accommodation. Always check the property is on the Veraccom.com website before you book and follow our booking links which are placed by the owner!
Follow these links to find out more information on guarding against fraud.
NOTE - Information contained in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be used for guidance only. Whilst we make every effort to keep our information up to date, public information is constantly changing and therefore, no responsibility will be accepted if this information becomes out of date or which warrants this information to be inaccurate.