BRITS are being warned against the latest holiday scam where unwitting victims are being tricked into booking cheap flights that don’t exist.
Action Fraud has found an increase in reports of people being scammed by cold callers who appear to already have their victim’s details.
The national fraud and cyber reporting centre said that scam artists were calling the victims, who had recently been searching for cheap flights online.
It’s believed that those affected had stumbled upon fraudulent web pages, which recorded personal information submitted to it.
The scammers are then using this information over the phone to win the trust of the victim, who is then persuaded to pay for cheap flight deals offered over the phone.
According to Action Fraud, the victims are even sent a confirmation email of their booking.
However, when searching for their flight details, the victims find that the booking does not exists.
The victim then tries to contact the person they dealt with over the phone, only to find the contact has also ceased to exist.
Action Fraud has reported 110 complaints of the scam since October 2018, with a combined total of almost £100,000 lost by Brits.
Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud warns people to check with ABTA and ATOL before using a website to check if it is legitimate.
She said: “By contacting people who have recently searched for flights online, the fraudsters are able to gain the victim’s trust much more quickly.”
Even if they know personal details such as names and addresses, Pauline warns this does not mean they are genuine and should avoid the unsolicited calls and texts.
When booking a holiday, using a credit card or Paypal instead of cheques and direct money transfers will also offer protection.
Brits who think they have bought a fraudulent ticket should report it to Action Fraud.
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Another recent scam offered free holidays and plane tickets using fake Facebook pages to steal personal information.
Sun Online Travel revealed how Facebook users who used the false competition pages would then be targeted using their personal information.
Other holiday scams to watch out for include fake accommodation websites, fake plane tickets and false travel documents.