Is the flash offer of a holiday package or a last-minute too good to be true? Then it probably is. You could end up with an inexistent, fraudulent or cancelled reservation. Before buying it, be aware of fraud in the world of holidays and flight tickets.
From fake flights to inexistent reservations, holiday fraud is big business for fraudsters and this is more frequent during holiday periods. Those looking for holiday offers have to be aware of this fraud.
For this purpose, Europol carried out its campaign #2good2Btrue on social networks: a range of attractive offers were shared for advertising purposes on several social network platforms. When the user clicked on it, he / she was redirected to a preventive page of the Europol website that offers guidance to avoid becoming a victim of holiday fraud. A series of illustrations were specifically designed for coveted sports and music events that have been shown to be popular objectives for fraudsters. In total, the illustrations received roughly10, 000 advertising links, including clicks on the page.
Therefore, if you get to your holiday destination and the hotel you reserved or the car-hire company don’t exist, it is very likely that you have been the victim of online fraud. Here is some advice so that you can be sure not to be the next victim of a strange too-good-to-be-true holiday package:
Always use official sources
Reserve holidays directly with an airline or hotel, or through a reputed agent or a trustworthy tourist operator. Look for the IATA logo on the company’s website.
Do your own research
Carry out a complete online search to guarantee that the company is legal. If it’s suspicious, other people may have published their experiences as a warning.
Operate safely online
Pay special attention to the name and the web domain. Small changes in the name or the domain, like a move from de .com to .eu, may redirect you to a completely different company.
Pay a secure way
Check that the website uses a safe payment system and a safe communication protocol (https) for the reservation process.
Check the small print
Use your instinct
If something is too good to be true, it probably is.
Tell the police
Keep all the proof and inform the police immediately.
For further information about common warning signs and how not to let fraudsters ruin your holidays, visit the ’Europol.website.