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Beware of holiday scams

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Be aware!

A recent survey by Which? has shown that consumers are throwing away more than £3,500 on holiday scams.

Two thirds affected by scams

Around 66% of those surveyed either knows someone, or they’ve been a victim of a scam themselves within the past three years. What’s even more staggering is the amount of people who have noticed an increase in scam correspondence.

Out of those surveyed, seven out of 10 people had noticed the rise and eight out of 10 were worried about friends or family falling for them.

It’s document processing scams that seem to draw in the most amount of consumers. These aren’t actually illegal, but they will charge you a lot more than they should. If a company emails you and offers to process passport or other documentation, don’t fall for it.

If you think you’ve been affected by a holiday scam then there are some ways to try and get your money back. However, the best option would be to know how to avoid these scams in the first place.

Be aware of the traps

The good news is that most consumers are more aware than ever before of how to spot a scam. However, there are still some out there which can catch you out. Scammers are evolving and becoming a lot more sophisticated than they used to be, so consumers need to start becoming smarter too.

Generally the top signs that you’re dealing with a scammer include:

  • If you’ve been randomly contacted
  • If it seems too good to be true
  • Are there any upfront fees?
  • Is there a time limit to respond?
  • Does the correspondence have any misspellings?
  • Do you need to call a premium rate number?

 Ridiculous discounts

Most scams offer deals that sound far too good to be true, so with holiday scams you’ll probably be promised an unbelievable discount. Many holiday scams involve being contacted by the company out of the blue – they may even tell you that you’ve won a contest and a free holiday.

beware of holiday scams

Competitions

All you have to do is phone them to confirm a few details and to pay a small fee – this is a definite scam. Unless you have actually entered a competition with a well-known company, you will not have won anything.

Expensive phone calls

Premium rate phone numbers are another thing to watch out for as they charge ridiculous amounts of money per minute. The same goes for premium texts. The Which? survey found 46% of people had fallen victim to a text scam.

Typos

Misspelled correspondence is another tell-tale sign that you’re dealing with a scammer. No professional company would send out correspondence full of spelling errors. They will also have a genuine email address from their company domain, rather than a free one.

While these things are the typical signs of a scam, there’s always a chance they won’t be. However, avoiding companies that contact you randomly is a great start. Always following the rule that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, is another great tip. It’s always worth booking a holiday via a reliable, well-known company. If you’re unsure about a company, research them and see what others have said about their dealings with them.

 

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About Jemma Porter

About Jemma Porter

Jemma Porter is an experienced content creator who has written for a number of online publications. A self-confessed penny pincher; she's often found seeking out the best personal finance deals.

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