10 tips to beat holiday fraud
Fraudsters only need a small number of people to fall for their ruses, so why be one of the suckers? Here are some tips to avoid being their next victim.
Don't respond to unsolicited emails offering mouth-watering deals – if they look too good to be true, they probably are.
2. Credit cards
Pay in part or full for something costing between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card and you'll have legal protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act should you get conned.
3. Money transfer agencies
Never pay for a holiday or excursion via a money transfer agency, such as Western Union, as these are not designed for commercial payments (rather for personal payments) and it's very difficult to trace who receives the money.
4. Consumer protection
If a travel company's advert or website refers to a professional trade body or consumer protection scheme such as Abta (abta.com), contact the relevant authority to check whether the company is a member.
5. Walk away
Don't sign any agreement or give your credit card details if you feel pressured by a sales rep. Walk away and give yourself time to consider the proposal.
6. Be vigilant
Take a few moments to orientate yourself when arriving at an unfamiliar country. Many people fall victim to thieves and pickpockets at airports, or get picked up by unlicensed taxi drivers, when they are tired and unfamiliar with the local currency. Always take your time and keep vigilant.
7. Personal details
Don't give any personal information to strangers and don't accept unsolicited help.
Agree any prices upfront, and get proof of purchase on a receipt which includes a printed name and address before accepting any products or services.
9. Payment cards
Don't let your payment card out of your sight, particularly in bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
10. Reporting any crimes
Report any scams you come across to actionfraud.police.uk (0300 123 2040).
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.