Lloyds has told British sunseekers and staycationers to take care when booking a break this summer, with scams linked to holidays increasing by a third over the last year.
Based on analysis of relevant scams reported to Lloyds Bank, fraud relating to flight bookings was up by 13% 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%, with the average amount lost £1,231. Packaged holiday-style scams also saw a 17% increase over the same period, with victims losing £2,342 on average.
However, the biggest increase came from scams linked to fake caravan bookings (i.e. a short stay in a caravan, rather than the outright purchase of a vehicle), with cases surging by a massive 108% year-on-year. The average amount lost in each case was much lower though, at £374.
Many of these scams start with false adverts on search engines or social media. Victims often click on a link taking them to a website and believe they are dealing with a legitimate company.
Nevertheless, it is all too easy for scammers to impersonate genuine firms online. Some fraudsters even lurk on real accommodation listing sites, before convincing victims to transfer cash directly rather than through the official platform.
With many consumers now rushing to book holidays as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels, Lloyds Bank is urging people to be on the lookout for potential scams.
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