Top tips to avoid becoming a travel fraud victim
The City of London Police, ABTA and Get Safe Online have published advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of holiday booking fraud – and on how victims should go about reporting it. This advice includes the top tips below:
- 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.
- Use your instincts: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Report it: Victims should contact Action Fraud via www.actionfraud.police.uk.
- Get free expert advice: For further advice on how to stay safe when booking or researching travel online, go to https://www.getsafeonline.org/shopping-banking/holiday-and-travel-booking/
For a full list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud please see: http://abta.com/fraud.
Other useful links
The latest government advice for safe and healthy travel abroad.
ATOL is the UK’s financial protection scheme and protects you when you book a holiday with a UK ATOL holder. It ensures you do not lose money or become stranded abroad if your ATOL holder collapses.
ATOL stands for Air Travel Organiser’s Licence and is backed by the UK Government.
What situations does ATOL cover?
UK and European law says your holiday must be protected if you book a package. ATOL is a UK financial protection scheme and protection applies to most air package holidays sold by UK travel businesses. The law says your holiday must be protected if you book a holiday with a single travel firm that includes:
- flights and accommodation (including a cruise), or
- flights and car hire, or
- flights, accommodation and car hire.
The scheme also applies to some flight only bookings – usually those where you book flights (including UK domestic flights) but do not receive your tickets immediately. This is most common with charter flights, but can also apply to discounted scheduled flights or where you pay for flights in instalments. Please note that ATOL does not apply to flights booked directly with scheduled airlines or to flights booked with airline ticket agents.