Holiday scams

Make sure you can relax instead of being scammed

Enjoy peace of mind on holiday

Have a read through our guide on steps you can take to protect yourself from fraud.

What to know before you go

Fraudsters can try to trick you before you even get on the plane. This is sometimes known as holiday fraud.

Holiday fraud is when fraudsters attempt to sell you holidays or tours that don’t exist. Use these tips to make sure your feet touch foreign soil.

Only book a holiday with a company you know and trust

Beware of accommodation providers that ask for a direct bank transfer

Think twice if someone tries to get you to pay outside of your trusted booking website

Use review sites to see if your accommodation is genuine

Fraudsters may also target you using

Vishing

Telephone fraud (or Vishing) is one of the most popular methods of fraud. Here's some help to stop you being a victim

Smishing

Is when a fraudster sends a text message to try and trick you into giving away your personal and security information.

Phishing

Learn how to avoid those dodgy emails and keep your information safe

Twishing

Twishing is when a fraudster uses Twitter to get in contact with you with the goal of defrauding you.

Avoiding holiday fraud

Never click a link in a suspicious email, social media message or text 

Never call the number given to you in an unwanted email, social media message or text 

Never make a payment over the phone to a travel agent, unless you’ve called the official number to make the booking yourself

Lookout for protection schemes

When you buy a holiday from a member of these schemes you get protection on your payments. Check the name of the company you're using on these official websites: 

ABTA is the Association of British Travel Agents and is the UK’s largest travel association. Provided that your travel agent is a member, your money is protected and you’re entitled to a refund if they close down

ATOL is an Air Travel Organiser’s License. If your travel agent has an ATOL, but goes out of business – you won’t get stranded or lose your money

To avoid fake websites, never use the link on a travel agent’s website to get to the ABTA or ATOL sites. Always search for the official link yourself.

What to know once you arrive

Data roaming charges can be expensive, so free Wi-Fi (like the open networks you find in hotels) can be really handy. But that doesn’t mean they’re always secure.

These networks are usually open, which means anyone can log on or that many people have the password. This makes it easier for fraudsters to see any details you enter on the same network.

Make sure the SSID (or network name) is the one printed in official hotel guest books. Scammers sometimes set up fake hotel networks with names that are very similar to the genuine one

When using open Wi-Fi networks, stick to messaging and browsing, and avoid entering any personal information.

Changing money can give fraudsters an opportunity to try to trick you out of your holiday funds. Use a credit card where possible and try to order your travel money online before you leave.

Make sure you find out exchange rates yourself and get an idea of how much currency you should be getting  

Count money carefully to make sure you get the amount you’re expecting

When paying for goods abroad with a card, always pay in local currency so that your UK bank does the conversion

Sometimes tourists can be an easy target for fraudsters, particularly if they aren’t familiar with the currency. One way this can happen is with a restaurant scam.  This might include finding out your bill is far larger than expected because you’ve been charged for snacks and drinks that seemed like they were complimentary, or you’ve simply been overcharged for tiny portions.

To avoid a potential restaurant scam, make sure you:

Pay in local currency where possible

Look at reviews to find the best places to eat before you arrive

Look out for additional charges, like cover charges or water charges

Only eat or drink what you’ve ordered

Use the menu to work out the cost while deciding what to order

Make sure you get an itemised receipt

Something else we can help you with?