West Yorkshire Police issue these tips to help people spot the signs of holiday fraud
West Yorkshire Police is warning people to watch out for holiday fraud as holidaymakers in England can now book to go away.
The easing of lockdown means that it is likely that there will be an increase in bookings, both nationally and internationally, but sometimes, a good deal is not all it seems.
Whilst this kind of fraud has seen a drop with travel restrictions over the past year, victims still lost more than £2.2 million in total, with three-quarters of victims being aged between 19 and 50.
More than half of frauds were connected to airline tickets, with 29 per cent linked to holiday accommodation.
Out of all these reports, Facebook was the most common platform cited, with 62 per cent of victims saying they were defrauded on the social media site.
West Yorkshire Police is warning people to be careful when clicking on links as "some fraudsters are very convincing".
The force added: "Sadly, some victims only become aware of the fact that they are a victim when they are unable to check in at the airport."
Tops tip to avoid falling victim to holiday fraud according to West Yorkshire Police:
-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.
- Do your research: don’t just rely on one review – do a thorough online search to ensure the company is credible. If a company is defrauding people, there is a good chance that consumers will post details of their experience, and warnings about the company.
- Look for the logo: Check whether the company is an ABTA Member. Look for the ABTA logo on the company's website. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA
online on their website. If you're booking a flight and want more information about ATOL protection, or would like to check whether a company is an ATOL holder, visit the CAA website.
- Pay safe: Wherever possible, pay by credit card. You should avoid paying directly into a private individual’s bank account.
- Check the paperwork: you should study receipts, invoices, and terms and conditions, and be very wary of any companies that don’t provide any at all. When booking through a
Holiday Club or Timeshare, get the contract thoroughly vetted by a solicitor before signing up.
- Use your instincts: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For a full list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, click here.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.