Holidaymakers are being warned over the risk of bookings fraudsters, Mostyn Smith was conned out of £1,000 booking accommodation for a holiday to celebrate his friend's 50th wedding anniversary.
He told Daybreak: "I was absolutely devastated because my friend insisted on paying me back the money and [the apartment] just didn't exist".
A report from the NFIB (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau) and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) found that males are slightly more likely to have reported a case of holiday fraud than females.
It said that people aged between 30 and 49 were also more likely to have been a victim of holiday fraud.
The most common types of holiday booking fraud are:
- Airline tickets: where a customer believes they are booking a flight and receives a fake ticket or pays for a ticket that never turns up, this accounted for 45% of holiday booking fraud reported to the Police in 2012
- Holiday accommodation: the fraudulent advertisement of holiday villas and apartments, with people arriving at their destination to discover they had nowhere to stay, accounting for a third of holiday fraud
- Package holiday fraud: fraudsters particularly like to target those booking group, sports and religious packages with deals and special offers, major events such as the Hajj pilgrimage and The Ashes can often be targeted
Holidaymakers are being warned over the dangers of booking a holiday, as fraudsters are conning travellers out of over £1.5 million a year, a new report said.
According to the City of London Police National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), one in ten consumers do not do anything to research their travel company, such as checking if they are a member of a trade association, or asking friends for recommendations.
A quarter of holidaymakers are prepared to pay £200 or more as an upfront payment or deposit to secure their booking, the YouGov poll said.
With the support of the NFIB, Get Safe Online, and Action Fraud, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is launching a campaign to warn people about the dangers of holiday booking fraud.