How to avoid falling for a holiday lettings scam

We’re right in the throes of summer, however, if you’re keen to book a last minute get-away, it’s important that you’re aware of potential holiday lettings scammers.

Action fraud reports show that £6.7 million pounds have been lost to holiday booking fraud.

There is nothing worse than anticipating an exciting holiday, only to be extremely disappointed to find out you’ve been a victim of fraud.

So here are some tips and tricks to look out for as you book your next trip in the sun!

Dodgy website

When you’re looking for a holiday home online, be very cautious of the website URL. For example, if the website changes from .co.uk to .org it could be a sign that something unusual is going on.

Look for websites that, you’ve heard of, that have a contact us / about page, and include customer reviews. These are key aspects to look out for when looking for a safe website, and you’re payment will be secure.

The UK travel trade association

ABTA

ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association, they certify that the trading body is legitimate. They provide support and protection, from potential scammers and have over 65 years of experience in the field.

We would advise that you look for their logo on the holiday lettings website, to check that they have been vetted by ABTA.

Payment

payment

By using your credit card, you have an extra layer of purchase protection under the terms of the Consumer Credit Act. However, please note that this is only applicable if the holiday is over £100.

We would advise that you avoid paying into a personal bank account at all costs. This places you in a risky position if you need to claim your money back should it be fraudulently stolen.

Reviews

reviews

Customer reviews are incredibly valuable when you’re looking to book a holiday, because who is better to recommend which holiday is best for you than real customers who have experienced a service first hand.

Reading reviews can give you very useful insight into each customer experiences. Depending on the number of reviews, the more reviews left equals the higher the strength of validity of the overall score given. Check the reviews come from a 3rd party website such as Trip Advisor or Trust Pilot.

However, don’t forget the power of word of mouth. Having personal recommendations can make you feel much more inclined to book with a particular lettings agency.

Too good to be true?

truth

When an offer seems to be too good to be true, research the company and holiday booking offer thoroughly before confirming your payment.

Once you’ve hit the pay button, you’ve cyber signed a deal of agreement. Additionally, we would recommend that you read their refund and deposit policy to understand the terms and conditions of the booking.

Documentation

documents

All bookings should come with terms and conditions attached to the confirmation email. Moreover, make sure that you file these documents to keep for the future should you need them. It’s imperative that the documents clearly state your travel arrangements and how much you have paid.

Report it

Action Fraud should be the go-to board to report any unfortunate travel scam experience. You can either get in touch with them online, or you can give them a ring to explain in detail what happened.

By doing this, you are helping to crack down on such crimes and are helping thousands of other potential victims in the UK.

Action Fraud’s report shows that the average amount lost per person was over £1,500, an increase of 25% year on year.

If you would like extra support, you can get in touch with Get Safe Online, as they offer free online security advice that could help you suss out a scam in the future.