How to avoid falling foul of travel-related fraud

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How to avoid falling foul of travel-related fraud

When a cheap holiday deal looks too good to be true… it probably is: How to avoid falling foul of travel-related fraud

With Christmas almost upon us, Black Friday come and gone and the cost of living crisis we are currently facing, everyone wants to get value for money, no matter the product or service they are buying.

However, do you pay the same attention to your quest for a holiday that offers value for money as you do to your weekly shop or utility costs? Fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated and even the most observant shoppers can fall victim to holiday-related scams. Travel Industry press indicates that fraud is on the increase and ABTA has identified four main areas of travel fraud as follows:

  1. Holiday accommodation
  2. Airline Tickets
  3. Sports and religious trips
  4. Timeshares and holiday clubs

What can you do to protect yourself and your family?

  • Have you seen a holiday package to a destination in the other side of the world for a very low, unrealistic price per person? Well, likelihood is that if a deal looks too good to be true it probably is. If you receive emails about such deals or find information on social media, always do an independent online search before opening any links as they could launch malware or steal personal and billing information saved on your computer.
  • Before booking a holiday with a provider, always check they are legitimate. One way is to check they are a member of ABTA or have ATOL protection.
  • Have you seen special offers that unless you book them instantly, they will disappear? Well often, so will your money you then pay for them. Be wary if you are put under pressure to book immediately, transfer funds via bank transfer, which may often be in the form of a “refundable deposit” or provide your bank details including passwords and ID documents.
  • Always make sure you receive an invoice, receipt and booking conformation. Not receiving those is a common tell-tale that something is not right.

In light of the increased sophistication of fraud relating to holiday and travel bookings, these additional tips are also worth bearing in mind:

  • Don’t pay money to an individual’s private bank account.
  • Where you can, consider making payment on your credit card so that you may benefit from protections under S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act should an issue subsequently arise.

It is also advisable to have travel insurance in place from the date you book your holiday. Many wrongly believe that you only need cover in place for the dates of travel but that is incorrect.

Have a think, what would happen if you had to cancel or postpone your holiday due to a family emergency or accident. Depending on your insurance cover, you may be able to look to your travel insurer for a refund in such circumstances.

What do I do if I have been the victim of fraud?

If you have been the victim of fraud, it is important to know what to do next. Don’t be embarrassed about what has happened to you as you won’t be the only one who has been deceived by such a scam. Report the matter to Action Fraud. Also, contact your bank or credit card provider if you have made a payment on your debit or credit card. You may be able to make a chargeback claim if you paid on your

debit card and there are protections under S.75 of the CCA that may be available to you if you paid on a credit card. For more specialist advice, talk to our International Personal Injury experts, to see how we can support you.

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