Action Fraud has published new data showing that in the last financial year, it received 6,457 reports of holiday fraud, amounting to over £15m lost.
Victims reported losing a total of £15,319,057, a 41 per cent increase on last year’s results, which amounts to an average loss of £2,372 per victim. From May – August alone, more than £4.6m was lost.
With the summer months seeing the highest levels for holiday fraud reports, Action Fraud has launched a national awareness campaign to urge the public to think twice before booking a holiday, so consumers don’t get burnt before they are on the beach.
Tips to avoid falling victim to holiday fraud
- Do your own research: Booking your trip via a company you haven’t used before? Do some research to check they’re legitimate. Read feedback from sources that you trust, such as consumer websites. You can find a company’s official website by searching for them on Google or another trusted search engine.
- Look for the logo: Check whether the company is an ABTA Member. Look for the ABTA logo on the company’s website. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA online on their website. If you’re booking a flight as part of a package holiday and want more information about ATOL protection, or would like to check whether a company is an ATOL holder, visit the ATOL or CAA website.
- Pay safe: Book your holiday with a credit card, if you have one. Most major credit card providers protect online purchases, and are obliged to refund you in certain circumstances. Using a creditcard (rather than a debit card) also means that if your payment details are stolen, your main bank account won’t be directly affected
- Secure your email: If your email is hacked, it could allow a criminal to access information about your holiday booking. Use 3 randoms words to create a strong password for your email that’s different to all your other passwords. If you’re offered 2-step verification to protect your email and social media accounts, always use it.
For a full list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, please visit https://www.atol.org/about-atol/how-to-check-for-protection/ or https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/planning-and-booking-a-holiday/how-avoid-travel-related-fraud.
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