Lloyds reports 33% increase in holiday booking scams

British sunseekers and staycationers are being urged to take care when booking a break this summer, with scams linked to holidays increasing by a third (33 per cent) over the last year, according to analysis from Lloyds Bank.

According to scams reported to the bank, fraud relating to flight bookings was up by 13 per cent in the 12 months to March 2022. The average amount lost to a flight scam was £2,955.

Scam reports linked to hotels were up by 18 per cent, with the average amount lost £1,231.

Package holiday-style scams also saw a 17 per cent increase over the same period, with victims losing £2,342 on average.

However, by far the biggest increase came from scams linked to fake caravan bookings, with cases surging by a massive 108 per cent year-on-year. The average amount lost in each case was much lower though, at £374.

Many of the scams start with false adverts on search engines or social media, the bank said. Victims often click on a link taking them to a website and believe they are dealing with a legitimate company.

Some fraudsters also lurk on real accommodation listing sites, before convincing victims to transfer cash directly rather than through the official platform.

“Now that most pandemic restrictions have come to an end, many of us will be looking forward to a more traditional summer holiday this year,” said Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank. “But with demand soaring and prices rising fast, would-be holidaymakers can’t afford to let their guard down when hunting for the best deals.

“Scammers are ready to cash in on any last minute surge in bookings, so it’s vital that consumers know how to stay safe.”

She said travellers should book directly with trusted sites or travel agents, avoid following links on social media, and always pay by card for the greatest protection.

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