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Whatever kind of holiday you’re planning, book and pay for it safely to avoid holiday fraud

By Tim Mitchell on 06 May, 2017

This month, our online awareness campaign is brought to you in conjunction with our colleagues at ABTA and the City of London Police, the national lead force for economic crime. 

Holiday fraud takes many forms and can affect anybody, however smart or immune you think you may be. You can find our free, expert, practical advice on our specialised holiday and travel fraud page, here: www.getsafeonline.org/safeholidays 

Two very prevalent frauds concern non-existent villas and non-existent flights. Here, we bring you two brief accounts from victims to help you spot the signs of fraud, and how to avoid losing your precious holiday and your hard-earned money.

John from Tamworth booked a villa last March for a December holiday in the Canary Islands. John paid £930 to the purported owner of the villa to secure the booking. At a later date, he wanted to check his flight details and book a car for the trip but could not find the website he had booked through. Having used a search engine to try and find the website, he came across several Trip Advisor reviews saying that the website was a scam. John has since tried to call the supposed villa owner but with no luck.

Stephanie from London paid £410 for a flight from Heathrow to Nigeria and received the flight e-ticket, however there was no terminal on the ticket. When she arrived at Heathrow they had no record of her booking. Stephanie has attempted to contact the flight company and was told she would receive a refund but this has not been sent. Further calls by Stephanie to the company have not been answered.