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4 Common Holiday Scams To Avoid

Matt Crisp August 16, 2018

Is there anything better than planning the holiday of a lifetime, organising luxury coach hire in Leeds to get you to the airport and jetting off to climes unknown? Not that we can think of, at any rate! But even as you get excited about your next trip away, it’s wise to be as vigilant as you can and remember that not everyone out there wants you to have a lovely time on holiday.

Indeed, there are scammers out there who are just lying in wait for innocent jet-setters, waiting to make off with their hard-earned cash and leave them feeling upset and despondent – exactly what you don’t want when miles away from home.

There are all sorts of scams you should look out for when planning a trip, so have a quick read of these to make sure that you’re as prepared as you possibly can be.


Incredibly cheap deals online

If you think an online deal is too good to be true, then it probably is. Airlines typically set their own flight prices so if you come across something that is significantly cheaper, be wary as it could be a scam.


Fake Airbnb listings

It’s a lot of fun to go a bit off piste with your accommodation but take care when using sites like Airbnb as it’s possible that there are scammers on there taking advantage of how popular these options are. Fake listings have been known to appear on sites like Airbnb, enticing you in with the thought of amazing bargain price accommodation. Always avoid anything that asks you to make a payment by bank transfer or not using the site’s own internal system.


Holiday booking fraud

Figures from Action Fraud show that £6.7 million was stolen by fraudsters from travellers in 2017, with the most common types relating to the sale of airline tickets and accommodation booking. Fake flight tickets and package arrangements are something to look out for, as is fraud relating to the sale of sports tickets.


Hajj fraud

In April, Action Fraud also reported that fraudsters often target British Muslims travelling to Mecca to perform Hajj in the autumn months. Some arrive in Saudi Arabia to find the accommodation they’ve booked doesn’t exist, while others find that their entire trip is a scam set up by fake travel operators who’ve just made off with thousands of pounds of their hard-earned money.

To avoid falling victim, do your research and never book something without carrying out basic checks on the tour operator or travel agency. Remember that a friend or family member’s recommendation doesn’t mean that the outfit is authentic.

Also check that the travel company is a member of a recognised association such as ABTA, as all members will have to follow a code of conduct and meet rigorous entry criteria. And always get everything in writing, checking that your accommodation, flight details and Hajj visa are all valid.