Holiday fraud warning as report reveals scammers stole £2.2m from holidaymakers

One of the most common frauds related to holiday accommodation

Emma Lunn
Friday 17 April 2015 17:55
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Scammers stole an estimated £2.2m from holidaymakers in 2014. A report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) section of the City of London Police revealed that 1,569 cases of holiday booking fraud were reported to the force's Action Fraud.

One of the most common frauds related to holiday accommodation. Typically, fraudsters set up fake websites, hacked into legitimate accounts or posted fake adverts on websites and social media. Britons flew abroad to find the villas and apartments they thought they had booked and paid for were non-existent or had never been booked.

UK caravan stays were also targeted, with adverts for non-existent accommodation posted on Facebook, Gumtree and Craigslist.

Other common frauds related to airline tickets – where a customer pays for a ticket that turns out to be fake – and sport and religious trips.

Customers lost an average of £889 to fraudsters last year, with one person losing £62,000 to a timeshare fraud. Most who lost money paid by bank transfer or cash – rather than credit or debit card, which both offer some form of redress.

To report a fraud, contact Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040 or Actionfraud.police.uk.

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