As January peaks are well underway for the travel industry, a warning has been issued for travellers regarding the rise of holiday scams. While this has been a hot topic in the travel industry over several years, the ever-evolving tactics of scammers targeting holidaymakers have prompted further caution to travellers.  

As most experienced travel professionals know, January is a hectic month for holiday bookings as individuals seek to escape their winter blues and plan their upcoming getaways. Unfortunately, this surge in bookings can attract the attention of scammers looking to exploit the excitement and anticipation surrounding holiday planning. This is why it is incredibly important for frequent travellers to stay up to date on the evolution of holiday scams year-on-year. 

Recent reports for January 2024 have highlighted an increase in fraudulent activities, including fake travel websites, accommodation listings, and tour packages. These scams not only pose financial risks but can also turn a dream holiday into a nightmare of financial losses and non-existent holidays. 

Fortunately for UK travellers, these scams, regardless of their improvements, can be easily avoided by booking with a trusted (and thoroughly checked) member of Protected Trust Services (PTS). All you need to do is scroll to the bottom of your travel business’s webpage (or check their shop window) for their unique PTS logo and number. And if you want to be extra sure, you can search them on the front page of the PTS website to confirm that your holiday is entirely legitimate.  

Industry experts, including trusted travel agencies, are now issuing warnings to travellers, about the latest holiday scams looking to take advantage of peaks. The caution comes as scammers continually adapt their methods to stay ahead of security measures, making it imperative for consumers to stay vigilant and informed. 

One prevalent tactic for holiday scams involves fake websites or advertisements that mimic legitimate travel businesses. These sites often offer enticing deals, exploiting the desire for cost-effective travel options during the January booking rush. Travellers are urged to be cautious and thoroughly check the authenticity of websites before making any payments or sharing personal information. 

Protecting Yourself from Holiday Scams 

  1. Verify Website Authenticity: Before making any bookings or payments, ensure that the website is legitimate. Look for secure payment options, PTS membership badges, check for customer reviews, and verify the contact details provided. 
  2. Use Trusted Travel Agencies: Opting for well-known and reputable travel agencies reduces the risk of falling victim to scams. Established companies and members of trusted groups like PTS, have a track record of providing reliable services, and their legitimacy is easier to verify. 
  3. If it Seems To-Good-To-Be-True, It Probably Is: Holiday scams often lure travellers with unbelievably low prices. Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true and thoroughly research before booking.  
  4. Check for Secure Payment Methods: When making online payments, ensure that the website uses secure payment methods. You can also look for the padlock symbol in the address bar, indicating a secure connection. 
  5. Stay Informed: Stay aware of holiday scam warnings and educate yourself about common tactics used by fraudsters. Awareness is a powerful tool in protecting yourself and others from falling victim to scams. 

As travellers embark on planning their dream holidays during the January peaks, the heightened warning about holiday scams serves as a reminder of the importance of providing safe and reliable spaces for travellers.  

So, if you’re looking forward to your next holiday, don’t wait, book now with a travel business member of PTS for 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988 or check us out on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.     

If you’d like to learn more about your financial protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and Travel Advice. 

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