With COVID-19 restrictions finally starting to ease, many Britons are looking forward to a well-earned summer getaway. And while holidays should be a time for enjoyment and relaxation, an increasing number of holidaymakers are left experiencing the exact opposite. This is due to holiday scams, where victims are tricked into paying for holidays, accommodation or flights, only to find out later they don’t exist. Such scams are on the rise. In fact, package holiday scams increased 17 per cent between March 2021 and 2022, according to Lloyds Bank. Avoid becoming a victim by considering the following tips:
- Use trusted sites. Many holiday scams involve a victim clicking a link on a fake social media advert. Where possible, book with trusted sites or travel agents. Better still, use a travel company that’s a member of a trade body such as ABTA or ATOL.
- Do your homework. Before booking, read reviews to verify that the company or address exists. Study the terms and conditions carefully, including the cancellation policy. Once booked, keep records of payment confirmations and receipts.
- Pick a safe payment method. Where possible, pay by debit or credit card and be wary of any requests to pay by bank transfer. When paying online, check that the website is secure; the browser address should start with “https” and display a padlock symbol. Additionally, avoid clicking any payment links you’ve been emailed. Instead, type out the website address in full so you can be certain you’ve reached your intended destination.
- Remain vigilant. Scams aren’t exclusive to the booking process, so remain vigilant once on holiday. Watch out for pickpockets who often target busy tourist spots. Additionally, use licensed taxi providers to make sure you’re charged a fair price.
Remember, trust your instincts. If it feels like a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t get rushed into making an impulsive decision.
For more information on scam avoidance, contact us today. Should you fall victim to a scam, seek urgent assistance by contacting your bank, the police and Action Fraud.
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