29th April 2024

Don’t get caught out by a holiday scam


Are you thinking about jetting off for some sunshine, soaking up some culture on a mini-break, or visiting some loved ones abroad?

If you are, then there’s a number of potential scams that you should be aware of when booking your next trip.

Which? magazine have highlighted a recently released report from Lloyds Banking Group warning their customers about holiday scams. Their findings show that between November 2021 and March 2024, the most common travel scams were:

  • Fake flight tickets – most of these scams take place on social media where scammers create fake adverts or pretend to sell airline tickets they’re no longer using, for an upfront payment. They then disappear once they have been paid.
  • Fake holiday home or cottage rentals – scammers use booking websites such as Airbnb, with a fake photo. They will take deposits or upfront payments through the legitimate site, then ask for further payments via bank transfer or PayPal. It’s not until the victims arrive at their holiday accommodation that they find out it’s not legitimate.  
  • Caravan purchase scams – scammers lure their victims by using photos of the caravans that they’ve taken either from real adverts or from Googe. They then offer temping deals for payments up-front.
  • Booking scams after hacking into booking systems and posing as genuine hotels on real booking sites such as Booking.com, scammers then steal banking or card details.
  • Camping trips one of the most common holiday scams is when holidaymakers are duped into the purchase of camping items on social media.

Which? magazine gives a guide on how to get your money back if you’ve been scammed in the ways above.

Tips on how to prevent holiday scams

Lloyds Bank offer the following advice on how to evade scammers when booking your next trip:

  1. Book directly with the airline or hotel.
  2. Use reliable retailers to book through. 
  3. Check the reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor to check what you’re booking before you do it.
  4. Always use a credit or debit card. You’ll have some protection if anything untoward happens. 
  5. When booking on Booking.com or Airbnb only ever pay through their system, never agree to pay directly with the vender.
  6. If you receive a message asking for more money, always query it. You can do this by contacting the hotel directly by telephone or contact Booking.com directly to confirm things. 
  7. Be very careful when buying items on social media. Always visit in person and view the merchandise before handing over any money.
  8. If it looks to good to be true, it usually is!
  9. Don’t be rushed into anything.
  10. Always take notice of warnings from your bank and follow any advice provided. If you’re not sure if these are genuine, call your branch or pop in and ask them.