Nearly a quarter (23%) of people have been targeted by holiday scams, a survey has found.
Lloyds Bank, which released the research, said that with around one in five adults yet to book their holiday this year, scammers could be waiting to pounce on holidaymakers looking for a last-minute deal.
It is urging people to avoid sending money by bank transfer – a method often used by criminals to trick people into handing over cash.
More than half of people said they do not know how to spot a dodgy website, the bank found.
Philip Robinson, retail fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Fraudsters are poised to jump on any potential way to trick people into handing over money.”
He said of fraudsters’ methods: “This could be advertising deals and accommodation on fake websites disguised as genuine companies or luring people in to buying non-existent items or package deals on social media.
“At the same time they are still profiting from a favourite scam tactic – sending texts about deliveries or so-called account activity with phishing links to gather information and then contacting people pretending to be from their bank or another organisation.”
He said that if someone insists on a bank transfer rather than a card payment or wants to avoid official payment mechanisms “this should be an immediate red flag”.
Here are Lloyds Bank’s tips to avoid holiday scams:
– If you pay by credit card, you may be able to make a claim for a refund under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if something goes wrong with your purchase. People paying by debit card may be able to recoup their funds using chargeback.
– If a seller tries to push you into paying for something by bank transfer, that can be a big red flag that it is a scam.
– Do not click on any link in a text or email that you were not expecting. These can be “phishing” for your details and are often a scam.
– Fraudsters can easily fake websites and make documents appear real to trick you into making payments for goods or booking holidays or accommodation – never be rushed in and take time to speak to a friend or family.
The bank also has further fraud protection tips on its website: https://www.lloydsbank.com/help-guidance/protecting-yourself-from-fraud.html