BD TRAVEL FEATURE: HOLIDAYMAKERS LOST £7M IN 2018 TO FRAUDSTERS

BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR

A NEW report from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) found that in 2018, 5,000 British tourists lost more than £7m to travel-related scams after purchasing counterfeit airline tickets, accommodation or organised tours. 

On average, victims lost £1,380 as more than half (53%) of the crimes were related to the sale of airline tickets.

A further quarter of crimes involved accommodation, such as payments to stay in upmarket villas which are either fictitious or being offered without the owner’s knowledge.

Rob Stross, CMO of WeSwap, has offered the following advice to travellers this summer.

“At WeSwap, we offer a number of tips for travellers about how to keep themselves and their money safe when travelling abroad.

First of all, if you are ever unsure, don’t act. A genuine company will never rush you to take action, so be aware of fraudsters trying to hurry you into making a purchase.

“Secondly, if you are using a card, always make sure your mobile telephone number and email address registered with the card provider is up to date.

“At WeSwap, we will use these to contact you if we notice unusual activity on your e-money account.

“We would always recommend that when using a card abroad, keep your pin safe, make sure it isn’t visible to others, and always check your statements.

“If you are purchasing anything online from a company you are not familiar with, do some research to make sure that they are genuine and before entering your card details, make sure the link is secure.

“There should be a padlock symbol in the browser frame window which appears when you login or register.

“If this appears on the page rather than the browser it may indicate a fraudulent website.

“The web address should begin with https://, the ‘s’ stands for secure.

“And finally, always remember to log out of the website after use. Simply closing your browser is not enough to ensure your data is safe.”

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