Bargain-hunting holidaymakers caught out by fraudulent online bookings

Added 06/07/2010

Woman thinking

Some people get so caught up in the excitement of booking a holiday online that they don’t pay attention to whether or not their online bookings are secure. Many holidaymakers get caught out by fake holiday deals when they enter card details into an unsecure booking. Too many holidaymakers are spending money on holidays that don’t exist.

GetSafeOnline is aware of the problem. Their managing director has said: "Fraudsters play on people’s desires - we get caught up in the excitement of a bargain dream holiday and cautiousness goes out of the window."

Fraudulent holiday operators make money because many people haven’t heard of holiday rental scams, spurious holiday sites or gap-year fraud. People have also reported that they often receive spam emails or text messages from holiday companies they’ve never heard of, and unfortunately, they work on people who are oblivious to the problem.

Before making online bookings, you should always research a travel provider if you have never heard of them to confirm their credibility. When you enter credit or debit card details, you should be taken to a secure page, which ensures that your card details can’t be intercepted by other parties.Sometimes making online bookings with private accommodation can be a little trickier as there’s no telling if they are genuine. Be wary of people offering lodgings that refuse to give out a telephone number or demand full payment up front. They may also ask for a cheque or wire transfer to pay for the booking.

The internet has transformed the travel industry into a mecca for cheap holiday deals, and you can search multiple destinations with ease. Online bookings are quick and convenient, and holidays online are often cheaper than in travel agents. But fraudulent travel operators can easily dupe unsuspecting holidaymakers into parting with their cash as they trawl the internet for unbeatable deals.

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