Fraudsters target travellers with 'staycation' holiday scams

26 June 2020

New wave of scams on the rise as holiday habits change

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British holidaymakers are being targeted by criminals in a new wave of coronavirus scams, according to UK Finance.

Fraudsters are taking advantage of growing demand for so-called 'staycations' in the UK this summer by advertising fake caravan and motorhome listings.

Some have also set up fake websites offering cheap travel deals which are used to obtain victims’ money and information.

Criminals are also posing as trusted organisations such as airlines, travel agencies or banks, offering non-existent refunds for holiday cancellations.

Victims are being contacted using a range of methods including emails, telephone calls, fake websites and posts on social media and auction websites.

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, says: “Criminals will exploit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s holiday plans to commit fraud, whether its advertising fake listings for caravans or pretending to offer refunds for cancelled flights.

“It is important that auction websites and social platforms take swift action to remove fraudulent posts and listings being used to promote holiday scams.”

How to avoid scams

Criminals often try to exploit fears or capitalise on people’s aspirations. It is important to stay vigilant to ensure that you do not lose money to fraud.

The following steps could help you avoid being caught out by a scam.

Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It is fine to reject, refuse, or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam, and report it to Action Fraud.

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