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Trading Standards Warn Of Easter Holiday Scams

30th March 2024

Holidaymakers looking to book Easter and summer getaways are being warned to be wary of scams such as:
fake accommodation listings on social media
cold calls and unsolicited emails offering deals
scam websites.
fake reviews on popular travel websites.

Demand for popular destinations is likely to be high, particularly during the spring and summer months, and scammers may look to take advantage of this by creating fake social media accounts and websites to advertise accommodation that does not exist or that has already been booked.

How to Avoid
Do plenty of research before booking a holiday online. Before booking a holiday you've seen on social media or in an unsolicited email, contact the company via their official website or publicly listed phone number to check that it is legitimately available at the price quoted and for the required dates. Where possible, book directly with the provider or through a reputable agent.

If you are unfamiliar with a company, check that they are a member of a recognised trade association such as ABTA or that they have been recognised by a national tourism organisation such as Visit Scotland.

Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails or social media adverts as they could lead to copycat websites which look similar to genuine booking websites, with similar URLs.

Where possible, pay using a credit card rather than via bank transfer - this will offer you more protection if you are a victim of fraud or if something goes wrong. Be suspicious if a provider will only give you the option to pay by cash or bank transfer.

Before making any payments, check the terms and conditions of the booking and the cancellation policy. Make sure you have contact details for the company or provider.
Scammers may also post fake accommodation listings to sites such as Airbnb and often ask for payment via bank transfer or outside the site’s payment system. Be wary if a listing asks you to contact the host outside the website’s mail system.

Find out more
ABTA Advice:
Which? Advice:
TSS website: