As lockdown measures and travel restrictions ease in the UK and more people are making travel plans, fraudsters are ready to scam consumers. Here are three prominent scams to look out for this summer and tips for how you can protect yourself and loved ones from being victims of fraud.
With a growing demand for 'staycations' in the UK this summer, criminals are setting up fake listings for caravans and motorhomes on auction sites. If you are looking to purchase one this summer, remember these tips:
- Be suspicious of any 'too good to be true' offers or prices – if it's at a rock bottom price, ask yourself why.
- Conduct your own research before making a purchase. Read reviews of the site or person you're purchasing from if possible, and organise to see vehicles over video call if you're unable to view in person.
- Only use secure payment methods recommended by online travel providers and don't accept requests to pay separately via bank transfer.
Cheap travel deals and discount accommodation scams
Criminals are setting up fake websites offering heavily discounted travel deals and accommodation with the main purpose of obtaining your money and personal information. These websites often look genuine, using professional imagery and often mimicking the look of other reputable websites. Before you make a deposit:
- Be suspicious of any "too good to be true" offers or prices – if it's at a rock bottom price ask yourself why
- If you are making a purchase, use a credit card where possible for bookings over £100 and up to £30,000 as you receive protection under Section 75
- Use the secure payment options recommended by online travel providers and refuse requests to pay separately via a bank transfer
- Read online reviews from reputable sources to check websites and bookings are legitimate
- Check the URL of the website for any subtle hints that it might be fake
- Access the website you're purchasing from by searching it on a browser or typing the URL in the search bar; avoid clicking through links in unsolicited emails.
Event ticket scams
As attractions reopen, criminals will try to sell fake or non-existent tickets, especially with many events requiring advance booking these days. If you are going to make a purchase:
- Only buy tickets from a known venue's box office, sports club, promoter, official agent, or reputable ticket exchange sites
- Never pay for tickets by bank transfer
- Consider that tickets advertised on any other sources such as auction sites, social media and fan forums may be fake or non-existent.
Don't let a slip in judgement ruin your holiday. Enjoy your summer while staying safe!
Read more on holiday scams on the Take Five website.