Tourist Holiday Frauds On The Rise

Tourist holiday frauds bookings are increasing in the UK and the victims are deprived of millions. In the previous year, the number of holidaymakers who got tricked rose to almost 6,000, with a total loss of 7.2 million pounds. Year after year, the reported cases have increased in number, jumping nearly 20 percent annually.

The most common tourist holiday frauds, according to a report by the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence, are connected to airline tickets sales, online booking of accommodations, and timeshare sales. There are also reports of a few instances of car hire frauds.

Many airline tickets victims are tricked to believe they are booking a legitimate flight. Later, after the payment is made, the victims realise that they purchased fake tickets, or the tickets never turned up.

The fake flights that were targeted in 2016 were those that were bound to the Indian Sub-Continent and Africa. The fraudsters duped mostly the families and groups of friends, knowing that they do not have enough knowledge about the travel industry’s strict regulations.

The deceivers were also taking advantage of the internet to trick the holidaymakers when booking holiday accommodations. They set up fake websites, gain unauthorised access to legitimate accounts, and posted their advertisements on these accounts and on the social media. Once payment was made, the fraudsters disappear.

People who were joining religious or sports trips were also not spared from these frauds, because usually tickets are limited, that resulted in higher prices. They were left with no choice but to take the bite.

Timeshares, or vacation ownership, refers to holiday houses owned by several people, and used by each for an agreed period. The money involved in timeshare frauds are higher than other frauds, with each victim often being ripped off tens of thousands of pounds.

Car hires frauds often involved hidden charges, insurance frauds, and being asked to pay extra for “missing seats” or any damage to the hired vehicle. Victims find out only about the hidden charges when their credit card bill reaches their mail.

It is during the summer holidays and the month of December that these cases of fraud become common; and the age groups affected range from 20 to 40 years old. On an average, each victim loses 1,200 pounds to fraudsters. Besides the money involved, the duped holidaymakers suffer emotionally; they feel so bad about what took place that even their health gets affected.

To avoid tourist holiday frauds, tourists are advised to be vigilant, stay safe when conducting business online. When making payments, use only credit/debit card and make sure the websites are secured and have an SSL certificates.