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Don’t lose out before flying out: Action Fraud urge holiday makers to watch out for fraudsters online

New data released today shows victims lost a staggering £12.3 million to holiday fraud last year.

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service, has launched a holiday fraud campaign ahead of the summer months, urging holiday goers to play it safe online and do their research before booking their trip. 

Last year, 6,640 reports of holiday fraud were made to Action Fraud and data shows July and August saw highest number of reports made, at 804 and 781 respectively.

Holiday makers lost a combined total of £12.3million, meaning there was an average loss of £1,851 per victim.

PCC Mark Shelford, the national lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners on Economic and Cyber Crime said:

“Action Frauds’ holiday campaign educates people with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves against fraudulent activities when trying to seek a relaxing holiday.

“If it feels too good to be true, it probably is.

“By doing thorough research and thinking twice before you buy, together we can safeguard our communities and prevent becoming a victim of holiday fraud.”

Top tips to help prevent falling victim to 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.
  • Stay safe online: use three random words to create a strong password for your email that’s different to all your other passwords. If a 2-step verification option is available, always set it.
  • Beware of suspicious messages: be cautious of unexpected emails or messages offering unrealistic holiday deals. If you receive a suspicious email, report it by forwarding it to
  • Protect personal information: only fill in the mandatory details on a website when making a purchase. If possible, don’t create an account for the online store when making your payment.
  • Book with confidence: be sceptical of unrealistic holidays deals. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Exercise caution and research before making purchases.

For further tips from ATOL and ABTA, visit or

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.