Bogus holiday fraud

How does bogus holiday fraud work?

A fraudulent travel company places holiday adverts online. The holidays are advertised at incredibly low prices. The adverts refer you to telephone numbers and/or a website to book your holiday. After booking, you are sent documents with travel and accommodation details.

Either your holiday doesn’t exist or you only get part of what you paid for. For example, you get your flight but no accommodation. In other words, the fraudster has pocketed your money.

How to recognise bogus holiday fraud

  • Watch out for holidays and flights advertised at prices which seem too good to be true
  • Check for full company details in adverts and on websites. Find the company’s name and full postal address then check that it actually exists
  • If the company has recently been set up or has recently changed hands, this could be another sign of fraud - along with the unfeasibly low prices
  • If an advert refers to membership of a trade body or consumer protection scheme such as ABTA, make sure the membership is genuine
  • Be wary of traders who encourage you to pay in cash by not accepting credit card payments or charging high credit card fees
  • Make sure the travel and accommodation details on your paperwork match the ones you booked.

What should I do if I become a victim?

  • If the company is a member of a trade body such as ABTA, report the fraud to them
  • If you paid for the holiday using your credit card, report the fraud to your card issuer.

Reporting fraud

If you're a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999.

If it is a non-emergency situation,

Call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

You can also report fraud or find further advice and information on the Action Fraud website.