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Fraudsters stole more than £7 million from unsuspecting holidaymakers and other travellers in 2018, a new report reveals.
ABTA – The Travel Association, Action Fraud and Get Safe Online are joining forces to warn the public about the dangers posed by holiday fraud and give advice on how to spot and avoid travel related fraud. The report, compiled by Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, details the most commonly targeted areas of travel and the methods used by unscrupulous criminals to defraud the travelling public.
Over 5,000 people reported to Action Fraud that they had lost a total of just over £7 million to holiday and travel related fraud, an increase on last year, when 4,382 victims reported losing £6.7 million. The average amount lost was £1,380 per person but, as in previous years, in addition to the financial cost, victims have also reported the significant emotional impact caused by this crime. The three campaign partners also believe that the actual total figures relating to travel fraud may be even higher, with many victims feeling too embarrassed to report.
Over half, 53%, of the crimes reported were related to the sale of airline tickets. These reports were made consistently throughout the year, however the largest individual loss, of over £425,000, was made in August 2018.
The next most common fraud at 25%, related to the sale of accommodation, with a peak in reported losses in October. This indicates that many victims report their loss after the end of the summer holidays the busiest time of the year for travel and a popular target for fraudsters.
Wherever possible, people are advised to pay by credit card