Average Amount Ripped Off From Holidaymakers Who Experience Booking Scams Increases by 25% In 2017

New figures reveal that the average amount of money that is lost by holidaymakers who were ripped off by booking scams rose by a quarter during the past year.

According to data from the City of London Police, the victims of the said scams usually lost £1,500 last year.

There were approximately 4,700 reported cases that were worth a total amounting to £6.7 million.

Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of Travel trade organisation Abta, stated: “Abta sees at first-hand the damage caused by travel fraudsters with the many devastated customers who contact us for advice after they find out their much anticipated holiday or trip to visit loved ones may not actually exist.

“The cost to them is not just financial. This crime causes very real disappointment and emotional distress.”

Nearly half of all victims said that the fraud had a huge impact on their health or financial well-being.

Around 575 people said that the impact on them was so severe that they were at risk of bankruptcy or had to receive medical treatment.

The head of fraud reporting centre Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: “Fraudsters are increasingly using more sophisticated ways to trick their victims, which is why it is important that you do your research when making travel arrangements.”

Scams that are related to accommodation bookings and airline tickets are considered to be the most common.

There is an increase in cases during the summer and during December, urging experts to believe that fraudsters are targeting the peak holiday periods when it is much more difficult to look for a bargain.

Religious and porting trips have been a popular target for conmen because of the limited availability of tickets and subsequently higher prices.

Fraudsters are creating bogus accommodation websites, hacking into the legitimate accounts and posting fake advertisements online.

Fraud prevention group Get Safe Online’s Tony Neate stated: “It can be quite tempting to get lured in by the offer of a cut-price flight or a deal on accommodation when you are caught up in the excitement of booking a holiday.

“Small steps can stop you getting caught out by a holiday scam, such as researching the company you are booking through, especially ones that aren’t mainstream operators.

“Check well-known review sites too so you can see what previous customers’ experiences have been and, where possible, pay by credit card to get extra protection in case anything does go wrong.”