Fraudsters are targeting people in Gedling borough searching for holidays online, by cold calling them with “too good to be true” offers.
The travel fraud warning comes from Action Fraud who are urging people to be on the lookout for fraudulent travel websites and unsolicited phone calls from scammers promising deals on flights.
These fraudsters are most commonly cold calling and pretending to be from a travel company after the victim has unknowingly entered their personal details on a bogus travel website.
The caller appears to know that the victim has been recently searching online to book flights and after gaining their trust, will make a ‘too good to be true’ offer on flight tickets to lure them into making a payment.
After transferring the money, victims may then receive a confirmation email but any further attempts to contact the company will be unsuccessful and enquiries with the airline will reveal that the booking does not exist.
A spokesman for Action Fraud said: “As we approach the holiday season, when it is expected that an increasing number of UK residents will be traveling overseas to visit friends and family, Action Fraud is warning people to be on the lookout for fraudulent travel websites and unsolicited phone calls from scammers promising “too good to be true” deals on flights.”
Top tips to avoid becoming a victim of travel fraud:
- 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 check the company’s credentials. If a company is defrauding people there is a good chance that consumers will post details of their experiences, and warnings about the company.
- Look for the logo: Check whether the company is a member of a recognised trade body such as ABTA. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA online, at www.abta.com.
- Pay safe: Wherever possible, pay by credit card and be wary about paying directly into a private individual’s bank account.
- Check documentation: You should study 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.
- Trust your instincts: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Report it: Victims should contact Action Fraud.
- Get free expert advice: For further advice on how to stay safe when booking or researching travel online, visit Get Safe Online.