10 tips to beat holiday fraud

Published by Dan Moore on 06 March 2014.
Last updated on 09 February 2015

holiday scams

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.

1. Emails

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.

8. Purchases

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).

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