How to Avoid Online HolidayBooking Scams at Bacall Associates
The growthof holidays and flights available on the internet has provided a wealth ofopportunities for the travelling public but it has also provided opportunitiesfor fraudsters. At the start of each New Year fraudsters steal millions ofpounds targeting holidaymakers who book their summer holidays online.
HOLIDAY BOOKING FRAUD
Thecriminals scam unsuspecting members of the public by posing as online travelagents and setting up fake travel booking websites. They can make large sums ofmoney by taking payments for holiday, hotel and flight reservations that do notexist. This is common for bookings related to high profile events as well asholidays.
As a result,individual consumers are losing up to tens of thousands of pounds on phoneybookings. They often do not discover they have been ripped off until it is toolate and are unable to afford a replacement holiday. This has an impact on thehealth of the victims, as well as on their purses, due to added stress andworry.
TheAssociation of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has seen an increase in customerinquiries relating to fraud during January, the most popular month forconsumers to search for cheap holiday bookings. In response, the associationhas released a helpful guide to the warningsigns of fraud online.
1. Pricesthat are considerably lower than competitors
Althoughprices may vary slightly amongst different agents, flight and holiday pricesare largely set and it is unlikely that one is drastically cheaper and genuine.
2. Lowresolution and blurry logos for trade associations and credit card companies
If you areunsure, check with the protection organisation or trade body that the companyis still licenced to trade.
3. The onlypayment option is a bank transfer
This indicatesthat no bank is prepared to provide credit card facilities, but paying bycredit card will protectyour money.
4.Non-receipt of tickets
Always checkthe paperwork and be wary of companies that don't give any.
5. Checkcustomer reviews and the website address
If a companyis defrauding people, there is a good chance that consumers will post detailsof their experiences and warnings about the company online. An illegitimatewebsite can be spotted by a slight change in the website domain.
Above all,always use your instincts. The sad truth is that if something seems too good tobe true, it probably is. So the next time you want to book an exciting getawayonline, take on board ABTA's warning signs to escape the scammers.