1. ITV Report

Holidaymakers hundreds of pounds out of pocket in scam

Holidaymakers hundreds of pounds out of pocket in scam Photo: ITV News

An exclusive investigation by ITV News has found that holidaymakers have been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after signing up for non-existent breaks in the west country. Devon and Cornwall Police is investigating - and a campaign group has been started to warn others of the dangers online.

A family break in the heart of our region - Perran Sands at Perranporth and Devon Cliffs at Exmouth - have provided a happy holiday destination for thousands of people this summer.

Fake holidays at Perran Sands at Perranporth were being sold Credit: ITV News

But dozens of people have paid for holidays at the sites that never existed - no fault of the parks, but of someone claiming to have a caravan for rent.

Becky Watts from Taunton paid £600 for a group of eight to rent a caravan at Perran Sands.

Up on my newsfeed on social media showed this massive cancellation holiday, advertised in a local selling group, I quickly looked into it, thought wow I'm going to be the first to comment I could get this holiday a good price extra treat right at the end of the school holidays extra treat for the children

– Becky Watts

Dagmar Gove from Newton Abbot paid £450 for a week away to celebrate her foster son's successes at school. She later found out that two other families had been sold the same deal on the same week. Now she can't get hold of the seller.

I probably won't get the money back - Paypal only covers for 45 days and I booked back in november. I phoned my bank and they said I am not covered because I used paypal. It's not just the money it's the disappointment.

– Dagmar Gove
People who paid money can't get hold of the seller Credit: ITV News

Most people saw the deal on this Facebook group. We've made numerous attempts to contact the woman behind it - but haven't managed to. Facebook declined to comment.

Haven - who run the two caravan sites - say they're co-operating fully with police investigations and while they sympathise with the people affected, they won't be offering refunds because they were not involved with bookings which were made privately.

Those effected have now had to change their holiday plans - or been left to make the best of their week off at home.