The increasing popularity of social media has now made it easier for people to reach a larger audience with their fraudulent activities.
The UK is currently experiencing a rise in levels of fraud regarding holidays and travel abroad, as well as sporting events. With online booking sites, it is now more accessible for people to book holidays and travel without going through a reputable company.
This means that they can avoid paying taxes and other fees and potentially evading detection by the authorities. In addition, there are also more opportunities for people to sell fake tickets to sporting events online.
Because of this, people need to be aware of the risks involved in booking holidays, traveling abroad, and purchasing tickets for sporting events, especially since the cost of fraud to the UK economy in 2021 was approximately £137 million! Did you know that within that timeframe of 365 days, consumers could have bought 27,400,000 round-the-world flight tickets?!
Traveling scams to beware of
According to Action Fraud, more than half of all travel scams in 2020 involved airfare. After looking for flights online, about 7% of victims were taken advantage of by clone comparison or booking websites. Typically, someone posing as an airline employee or a flight-comparison website contacts the victim to guide them through the booking process and make payment arrangements.
Some others weren’t aware they had been scammed until they arrived at the airport and couldn’t check in. If you are asked to make a bank transfer virtually untraceable, proceed with caution. Instead, use a credit card whenever you can to ensure that your funds are covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
Some scammers cold-call tourists while posing as airlines, travel agencies, and banks to get financial and personal information. Some people have learned how to spoof phone numbers, making it appear like you are getting calls from a reliable business. Others even know the specifics of your canceled reservation and how much you owe to seem more believable.
Typically, they will say that they need your bank information to complete the return. But don’t be duped; a trustworthy business will never get in touch with you unexpectedly and want your personal information. If you have any doubt, end the call and look up the company’s phone number online so you can contact them directly and determine whether the request is legitimate.
One of the most common travel scams is holiday rental fraud. This is where scammers often list properties on popular websites at very competitive rates.
But when unsuspecting travelers arrive at their destination, they find that the property doesn’t exist or is hugely different from the given description.
You can protect yourself from being a victim of a traveling scam by educating yourself about the dangers. Be sure to research any travel deals carefully before committing to them, and never give out your financial or personal details to someone you don’t know.
By being aware of the risks, you can help protect yourself and your family from becoming victims of these increasingly common scams.