Britons should take extra care booking their summer getaway as new figures show an increase in online holiday scams, with travellers being cheated out of thousands of pounds by fake flight and hotel adverts.
The number of scams linked to holidays was up by a third in the year to March 2022. Within that, fraud relating to flight bookings was 13% higher than in 2021, with victims, on average, losing £3,000, based on cases being reported to Lloyds Bank.
There was an even bigger rise in the number of scams linked to hotels, up 18%, with consumers typically losing £1,200. Fraud linked to package holidays was also up by a similar amount, with the average loss put at £2,300.
By far the biggest increase came from scams linked to caravan stays, with the number of cases more than doubling. However, the average amount lost in each case was much lower at £374.
The rise in holiday booking fraud is the latest development in what has been described as a national “fraud epidemic”. The end of Covid travel rules has resulted in a dash to book holidays but Liz Ziegler, Lloyds Banking Group’s fraud prevention director, said consumers should “not let their guard down. If it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is.”