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Money management

Tips to avoid travel company scams this summer

June 17th, 2024.

Avoid getting burnt this summer.

As the warmer weather arrives it’s likely you are starting to turn your thoughts towards travel plans and possibly even a summer getaway. As you do, please remember to remain vigilant for scammers who are always exploring new ways to commit fraud.

In recent months we’ve seen a new scam emerge that targets holidaymakers. The scammers impersonate travel companies and it has affected a significant number of UK bank account holders.

The scam has tended to follow the same route:

  • A scammer will take a booking over the phone at an agreed price, having impersonated a travel company.
  • The customer has then been called back and told that the company has not been able to confirm the tickets/booking and so the customer must pay an additional amount for this to be rectified.
  • At this point, there is no option available to get a refund or cancel the original transaction.

A customer’s card details may have been taken as part of the telephone call and a price confirmed, but the transaction processed is often for a higher amount than what was agreed.

There is no foolproof counter to this type of fraud, but there are things you can do to reduce the risk of falling victim:

  • Check online reviews to help establish if the website is legitimate. However, sometimes fraudsters pay for good reviews on websites so these may not be accurate, or a legitimate website may have been hacked by fraudsters so this cannot be relied upon in isolation.
  • Where possible use a credit card as opposed to a bank transfer or debit card payment
  • If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • Always look for the https:// domain before making payments
  • Try not to make payments over the phone
  • Where you are asked to make additional payments for a refund or a rebooking, this should be a red flag that you may be talking with a fraudster

As you make arrangements for your holiday, please remember to remain vigilant and to always check your supplier is legitimate to help ensure you have a smooth, relaxing and enjoyable trip.

Think you’ve fallen victim to fraud?

Please contact us on +44 (0)1624 645000 between Monday and Friday, 8am to 8pm (UK time), except for UK public holidays.

For all other times, please call +44 (0)20 8167 3223.

Nedbank Private Wealth seeks to ensure we have the appropriate physical and technological security measures in place to protect your information, regardless of where it is held. These include, but are not limited to, enterprise firewalls, endpoint protection, two factor authentication, a 24/7 cyber monitoring service, annual cyber training for staff, strict access controls and a penetration testing programme.

For more information on how you can protect yourself against fraud, please click here.