Flight fraud victims lose nearly £3,000 on average, bank warns

Frauds involving caravan bookings have more than doubled over the past 12 months, Lloyds Bank said.

29 April 2022

Holidaymakers falling victim to flight scams lose nearly £3,000 on average, and there has also been a big jump in frauds related to caravan stays, according to a bank’s analysis of customer data.

The volume of scams linked to holiday bookings has increased by a (33%) third over the past year, Lloyds Bank said.

The figures were based on analysis of scams reported to Lloyds.

The average amount lost to a flight scam was £2,955, with victims of package holiday scams losing £2,342 on average. Victims of hotel-related scams lost £1,231 typically.

And with many people opting for UK-based staycations over the past year, Lloyds said scams linked to people booking short stays in caravans has more than doubled (a 108% increase) over the past 12 months. The average amount lost was £374.

Many scams start with false adverts on search engines or social media, Lloyds said.

Victims often click on a link taking them to a website and believe they are dealing with a legitimate company.

Some fraudsters lurk on real accommodation listing sites, convincing victims to transfer cash directly rather than through the official platform.

Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Now that most pandemic restrictions have come to an end, many of us will be looking forward to a more traditional summer holiday this year.

“But with demand soaring and prices rising fast, would-be holidaymakers can’t afford to let their guard down when hunting for the best deals.

“Scammers are ready to cash in on any last-minute surge in bookings, so it’s vital that consumers know how to stay safe.

“Book directly with trusted sites or travel agents, avoid following links on social media, and always pay by card for the greatest protection. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is.”

Here are some tips from Lloyds Bank to avoid holiday scams this summer:

– Fraudsters put adverts for fake holidays on social media and the internet. They can also send an offer by email or text pretending to be from a real company. Often, a deal will look much cheaper than those you can find elsewhere.

– Make sure the deal is genuine. Consider booking a holiday with a company that is Abta or Atol protected.

– Take your time to make sure an offer is genuine before you choose to buy.

– Protect how you pay. Credit cards, for example, give people additional consumer protections if something goes wrong.

– If someone wants you to pay direct to a bank account or by wire transfer, it may be a sign of a possible scam.

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