/ Travel & Leisure

Top three holiday scams – would you spot them?

Travel scams

A free holiday, surprisingly cheap flights, rare sports tickets – offers like this are often too good to be true. Have you fallen foul of holiday scammers?

According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), people in the UK lost more than £11m to holiday scams last year. On average, that works out at around £3,000 per scam victim. It seems that many of us are all too eager to believe in a special deal or one-time offer, especially if it comes with the promise of a holiday.

But if you’re savvy, you can spot a likely scam and avoid filling the tricksters’ coffers with your money. You can protect yourself against scammers by getting wise to their tricks. NFIB has identified the three most common holiday booking scams.

Fake accommodation and flight websites

Professional-looking websites selling ‘cheap’ flights and accommodation are easily set up. Criminals are even known to leave fake reviews on sites such as Tripadvisor. According to NFIB, sales of fake flights to Nigeria, India and Pakistan were particularly prevalent last year.

Our advice: Exceptionally low prices should set alarm bells ringing. Flight prices are largely set by the airlines, giving agents little leeway in price, so charging significantly less is often a sign something isn’t right.

Timeshares and holiday clubs

Timeshares and holiday clubs accounted for more than a quarter of the total reported losses, with victims losing anywhere between £9,000 and £35,000 each.

Our advice: Watch out for ‘free’ holiday offers – these were used to entice many victims of timeshare scams into attending a seminar where they were duped into buying a fraudulent timeshare.

Oversubscribed sports and religious trip tickets

The limited availability of tickets, and consequently higher prices, makes sporting events and religious trips a popular target for criminals.

Our advice: Only trust official ticket sellers, especially if you know an event is in high demand.

Spotting a scam

Boost your own resilience to scams by coming along to one of our scams roadshows as we travel across the UK, sharing expert advice. Our next stop is at the Leeds White Rose shopping centre on Friday 17 June.

You can support our campaign by signing our petition here:

So have you ever spotted a holiday scam? How do you protect yourself against tricksters?

Peter Butler says:
6 June 2016

If some people people think that something is free they loose so sense and reason,do not stop to think but rush headlong and try to take advantage of it .As I always say there are some people who will always fall for some scam or other. They do not listen or take any notice of any advice they are given It will continue happening what ever any one true to do to help them Maybe those at Which are just wasting their time in trying to advise some people

lander says:
3 July 2018

wouldnt trust this site with the spelling mistakes and bad grammar

Bridget says:
6 June 2016

Which and the likes should campaign big time to help those of us that are easily fooled .

(We have edited your comment as it was all written in capital letters. Please read our commenting guidelines for more information. Thanks, mods).

E Dunn says:
12 June 2016

I had a lucky escape. My neighbours wanted to have their roof re tiled and asked me if I was considering. I was. They had ONE quote and accepted it as they would get a discount with me having it done also…The guys came to look round so I asked a LOT of questions. . The answers were not what I expected to hear so I backed out. ..now the work has nearly been finished and it is not up to standards. ..Rogue Traders. .

Not exactly a holiday scam but an interesting case nonetheless. Are you still on speaking terms with your neighbours? Now is the time to help them assert their consumer rights to having the job done properly.

the hackers eech says:
21 August 2017

iv got ut acount on tech scames who else has

Babs Kelly says:
4 October 2017

Spelling mistakes. Not clear what this is about. Scam?

Tracey Wilson says:
30 September 2018


Rosie10 says:
21 October 2018

Thanks for good advice.

I will scan the other day fromhttps://www.alpinemedicalpharmacy.com I ordered for my dog should I had prescription for him as they said they posted it and stuck in customs but they could not give me a tracking number or the number for the customs at the airport where my package is being held so they say but don’t get no information back from them what’s relevant