Book Face To Face To Beat Fraudsters
A West Country holiday company have today urged people spending more than £2,000 on holidays to book face to face in a travel shop to avoid the growing number of online frauds.
Latest figures from Action Fraud show that booking scams rose by 17% last year with holidaymakers losing £7.2 million after parting with their hard-earned cash for flights they were not booked on or accommodation that didn’t exist.
Bakers Dolphin, which has been booking people on holidays for 100 years, says that for big-ticket holidays booking face-to-face and ensuring the company is ABTA protected is the safest way to avoid being scammed.
Sales and Marketing Director Amanda Harrington said: “The latest figures are shocking and show that our industry is being targeted by online fraudsters. The cyber criminals know that people book holidays infrequently and prey on people not being familiar with the process.
“The figures also show that 260 people in the last year had to have medical treatment as a result of the fraud so it is not just about losing money. Our typical customers are the older generation and they are particularly at risk to these fraudsters, who can look very convincing online.
“We take many bookings online, by telephone and in person at our two shops in The Arcade, Broadmead, Bristol and in The Sovereign Centre, Weston-super-Mare. If you are going to invest £2,000 or more in a break then we believe it is worth the extra time to be safe and do it face to face with a travel adviser.
“The old idea that everything is cheaper online is just not the case these days as often our travel specialists have inside knowledge of the best deal. Everything is ABTA bonded and that certificate is vital if anything goes wrong on your travels.”
A campaign has been launched by Get Safe Online, ABTA and City of London police to warn travellers about the dangers of holiday booking online. Bakers Dolphin urge anyone booking online to check out the information at www.getsafeonline.org
Those planning to book a honeymoon, cruise, faraway break or have complex or multi-location travel plans are recommended to visit one of the shops.