Monthly Message from the Avon and Somerset Fraud Team: Holiday Fraud

The latest data from Action Fraud shows that victims across the UK lost a staggering £12.3 million to holiday fraud last year. They are urging holiday makers to be safe online and do their research before booking their trip.

Unfortunately, many victims of holiday fraud only find out they have been defrauded when they turn up at the airport, or at the holiday destination, only to find that no booking has been made.

How can you protect yourself from holiday fraud?

  • Do your research: before committing and booking your dream holiday, make sure that you do a thorough online search to ensure the company is credible.
  • Pay safely: use a credit card when shopping online if you have one. Most major credit card providers protect online purchases.
  • Look for the logo: make sure they're a licensed company and check that they are properly accredited. Look for an ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licence) or a membership of ABTA, The Travel Association.
  • Book with confidence be sceptical of unrealistic holiday deals. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Exercise caution and research before making purchases.
  • Use a travel agency: If you don’t feel confident booking a holiday online, attend a travel agency in person to be sure that you are booking a holiday that is legitimate.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.