Dream holiday or short break? Book it safely, and don't become a victim of holiday fraud

Thousands of people in the UK become victims of holiday fraud every year - paying for non-existent accommodation, flights or entire holidays. They lose their holiday and their hard-earned money.

Posted on 1 April 2019

We’ve teamed up with Get Safe Online to bring you expert tips to help protect you when booking a holiday. Make sure you:

  • thoroughly research private advertisements for accommodation, flights, cruises or package holidays, to check that they are authentic
  • check reviews on Trip Advisor, or similar sites
  • check that accommodation really exists by finding it on Google Maps and, if you can, call the owner/agent directly. If the number is not provided, email and request it
  • remember that paying by credit card means you have more chance of getting your money back, if something goes wrong.
  • never transfer money in payment for accommodation or travel. If you do, and it’s a fraud, your bank will not be obliged to refund your money
  • type in the correct website address if paying online, rather than following a link - ensure the payment page is secure - it should begin with ‘https’ and display a locked padlock
  • are wary of unusually cheap holidays or requests for high deposits
  • read terms and conditions before making any payment
  • keep the confirmations and payment receipts and check your statements for irregular entries
  • confirm that travel agents and tour operators are members of trade associations, such as ABTA or ATOL. You can do this on these bodies’ websites


If you think you’ve been a victim of holiday or any other fraud, report it immediately to Action Fraud online or tel: 0300 123 2040.

For everything you need to know about safely booking holidays and travel online, visit www.getsafeonline.org/safebreaks