Travel businesses in the UK have recently been issued a word of caution from PROFiT concerning the return of a cookie scam that threatens businesses with a letter concerning incorrect usage of cookies on their websites.
This warning was issued by the Prevention of Fraud in Trade group (PROFiT) following a similar act of fraud that had victimised many travel businesses in 2021. A similar warning was issued in September of 2021 by PROFiT about this cookie scam attempting to extort monies from businesses in a bout of panic. The cookie scam receded following the expanded awareness of its use and the report from 180 different companies who claimed to be victims of the scam. Despite this, the scam has returned.
There have been reports of very similar fraud within the past few months, leading to the warning on the cookie scam from PROFiT. Barry Gooch, the Chairman of PROFiT, stated that several different companies have recently reported receiving threatening letters in the past week. These letters warned the company that its usage of cookies was in breach of the UK GDPR and The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations’ requirements. The letters proceeded to demand money as a bribe to stop the sender of the letter from reporting the supposed breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Gooch said, “the idea seems to be to frighten the recipient into paying.” He detailed the steps to this cookie scam that took place in the reported cases, warning other travel and trade businesses to report to PROFiT any potentially similar cases and seek legal assistance if they receive a similar letter.
Gooch clarified that this scam is not exclusive to travel businesses, however, he urged all in the sector to be wary and ensure that their websites meet the current cookie legislation to prevent real issues of this kind. A tip he gave many businesses was to be cautious of any legal letters that ‘run into several pages’ in length.
“Profit advocates that every organisation must fully comply with the rules on cookies which is a legal requirement. Checking your compliance now will give your organisation and membership peace of mind if approached,” he said.
So, if you’d like to learn more about how your consumers’ monies are protected with Protected Trust Services (PTS) and how we support excellent travel businesses, check out our pages. Or you can get in touch with the lovely PTS team by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.