A young woman from Cambridge had £600 stolen from her bank account after she entered her details on a fake holiday booking site. Alex Roberts found a cheap packaged deal for a trip to the Maldives for just £700, which included flights. The deal seemed like an opportunity she could not miss and began to fill in her personal information, but her suspicion was aroused as the deal seemed too good to be true. Instead of confirming the payment, Alex closed the browser, however, days later noticed £600 had been taken from her bank account.
Alex spoke to the Sun news and said: “ I panicked when I saw that the money had gone, it was from our joint account and the rent was due and we didn’t have enough in our account. I just thought oh my god we’re going to end up being charged for going in our overdraft. I called my boyfriend straight away to see if he’d transferred the £600 but he had no idea about it either. I called NatWest, who I bank with, and explained the situation and because the payment had been made from a devise that neither of us had used before, they could see that it wasn’t us and refunded us the money. The scariest thing about it is that I didn’t even go through with buying the holiday, so the scammers must have stored my details as soon as I’d entered them and then used them later to transfer the money”.
The sun reports that last year alone £6.7 million was stolen by fraudsters through fake holiday booking scams, like fake airline tickets and accommodation.
How to avoid travel related fraud.
Each year fraudsters target unsuspecting holidaymakers and travellers, stealing millions of pounds. Not only are people losing large amounts of money but people are also having their hard earned vacations ruined.
The most common types of booking fraud are:
Holiday Accommodation: Fraudsters are making full use of the internet to con holidaymakers by setting up fake websites, hacking into legitimate accounts and posting fake adverts on websites and social media.
Airline Tickets: Where a customer believes they are booking a flight and receives a fake ticket or pays for a ticket that never turns up.
Sports and Religious Trips: A popular target for fraud due to limited availability of tickets and higher prices.
Timeshares and holiday clubs: The sums involved with this form of fraud are particularly high with victims losing typically thousands of pounds.
Avoid Holiday Fraud
Stay Safe Online: Check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered by slight changes to a domain name, such as going from .co.uk to.org.
Research: Do a thorough online search to ensure the company is credible, check multiple reviews online.
Look for the Logo: Check whether the company is an ABTA member. If you are booking a flight, check they are ATOL protected.
Pay safe: Never pay directly into a private bank account, and where possible pay using a credit card.
Report it: Victims should always contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040