Warning over 'nightmare' holiday offers

Travellers who book online are at risk of seeing bargain "dream holidays" turning into a nightmare, it was revealed today.

As many as 30% of online bookers fail to confirm the authenticity of their travel providers, a survey by the Government-back body GetSafeOnline.org and travel organisation Abta found.

Also 22% of the 1,000 adults polled do not check if their web page is secure when booking.

And 36% say they do not track and check the payments in their bank or credit card statements after making a booking.

The survey also found that 22% say they have been approached with holiday deals or villa rentals via unsolicited emails, phones calls or text messages from individuals or organisations they do not know.

Tony Neate, managing director of GetSafeOnline.org, said: "When we've been working hard the rest of the year, for most people, making sure we have a great summer holiday is really important.

"Fraudsters recognise this and play on people's desires - we get caught up in the excitement of a 'bargain dream holiday' and cautiousness goes out the window.

"When things don't start to add up, that's when you really need to do your research."

Security Minister Dame Pauline Neville-Jones said: "Many people will be looking for last-minute holidays at this time of year and the internet can provide a great way of shopping around for bargains.

"However, in your rush to book a holiday you should make sure you are not falling victim to online crime by taking some basic steps to protect yourself."

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