Action Fraud are calling for people to be vigilant as lockdown restrictions begin to ease and the country opens as fraudsters are ready and waiting to take our hard-earned cash.
Action Fraud say they have received 1,907 complaints in 2020 to 2021 which is a decrease of over 70 percent on the previous year. But the reporting service says this number is worrying and does not report the true reflection of the problem as they believe there has been a sharp decrease in reporting due to the ban on travel. They say the average loss for a victim to travel fraud is £1,242. They have also launched a national campaign to remind the public to think twice before making any bookings for travel and holidays. And be extra vigilant when giving people your personal details and not be so eager to book up a cheap last-minute deal as so many of us are now that restrictions are lifting, because we could get caught out by a scam.
Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith said: “We are all more eager than ever to go on a holiday and relax with family and friends, following the coronavirus pandemic. However, criminals will stop at nothing when it comes to defrauding innocent people out of a well-deserved break and their hard-earned cash. Criminals are increasingly using more sophisticated ways to trick their victims, which is why it is important that we all do our research when booking a holiday and making travel arrangements. Regardless of whether you are planning on travelling abroad, or going on a domestic holiday this year, remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Action Fraud recommend the following to keep yourself safe when booking online:
- Check websites addresses. They can sometimes be disguised so check the one you are using is legitimate and not altered from the original in anyway.
- Research by reading multiple reviews and do thorough online searches to see the company you are using is credible.
- Check to see if the company is ABTA registered and if you are unsure, you can check on ABTA’s website to see if you are booking through a registered company.
- Where possible always pay using a credit card and that way you are protected and never pay directly into someone’s bank account.
- If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is so using your instincts, check to see if the deal is available elsewhere.