According to Action Fraud, the UK national centre for reporting fraud and cybercrime, travel consumers have collectively experienced a loss of £15 million to holiday scams in the past year.
This new data was released by Action Fraud this week in tandem with the release of their latest campaign to raise consumer awareness of holiday scams. The new data showed 6,457 calls to Action Fraud concerning a holiday scam this past year. The victims of these fraudsters lost a total of £15,319,057 to these scams. This shows a 41% increase in monies lost to scammers from the previous period of March 2021 to March 2022.
On average it was reported that the scammed travellers lost around £2,372 each. In trend with the travel peaks for consumers, £4.6 million of this money alone was lost during the May-August period in 2022.
This is by far the most popular time for travellers to be heading off on holiday, and with this period already underway, it is even more important than ever to ensure your consumers know where to look for advice on potential holiday scams and where they can turn if they believe they have been scammed on holiday.
The head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said, “With summer only just around the corner, we enter a period when fraudsters ramp up efforts to catch out unsuspecting members of the public.
“Scammers prey on people wanting to find a good deal online – whether cheap flights, great hotels close to the beach at discounted rates or package holidays that undercut well-known travel operators.
“When booking a holiday, it’s important to do your research before handing over any money and double check any website. If it sounds too good to be true, it most definitely is.”
The centre has launched a new campaign to highlight what consumers need to know, but they should not be the only ones. As trusted travel businesses, it is important to remind consumers of potential holiday scams they can encounter while they are on holiday, not just during the booking process. Ensuring your travellers have access to the Action Fraud page to report anything they encounter can result in a loyal customer simply because they know you have their safety in mind.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also commented on the rise in holiday scams after Action Fraud released data identifying an increase in fake ATOLs used by fraudsters. They encouraged consumers to use the ATOL finder on their website to verify that the business they’re looking to book with is a legitimate ATOL holder.
This was commented on by Anna Bowles, the head of consumers and enforcement at the CAA, who said, “Before booking any trip abroad it is worth doing some homework before you part with any money. Research the company you’re booking through – check reviews and ensure your booking includes all the extras you’re expecting.”
Consumers booking with a travel business displaying the PTS logo on their website can also check their business for increased peace of mind. All they must do is put the PTS number from the logo or the business name into the PTS website to ensure that they are booking with a protected member of PTS.
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.