18 Apr

ABTA Partners with Get Safe Online and Action Fraud to Encourage Holidaymakers: Look Before you Book

ABTA – The Travel Association is partnering with Get Safe Online, Action Fraud and the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) on a new consumer campaign to raise awareness of the dangers posed by holiday booking fraud and provide advice on how to avoid becoming a victim.  The campaign will encourage consumers to take important steps to avoid being defrauded including looking for ABTA Membership when they book, researching the travel companies they book with and using secure payment methods online.

The campaign, which is part of ABTA’s broader look for the logo initiative, will include new research from the NFIB looking at the number of victims of holiday fraud and common types of fraud.  The campaign partners have also produced case studies, a short video and new advice for consumers on how to avoid becoming a victim of holiday booking fraud.  A leaflet is available for download.

What is holiday booking fraud?

Holiday booking fraud is when consumers hand over money only to discover the holiday, accommodation or flight they paid for doesn’t exist, or the booking hasn’t been made. New research by the police shows that fraudsters are conning unsuspecting holidaymakers and travellers out of thousands of pounds each year or leaving them stranded with nowhere to stay through fake websites, false advertising, bogus phone calls and email scams.

Victoria Bacon, Head of Communications ABTA said: “This type of fraud is not just devastating for members of the public who lose their money, it tarnishes their experience of booking a holiday and that’s bad for our industry. The police are becoming increasingly concerned about this type of fraud so this campaign aims to educate consumers on common tactics used by fraudsters and what to look out for when they’re booking their travel arrangements. Clearly, booking with an ABTA member is one of the simplest ways to ensure you’re booking with a legitimate company, so that’s an important message for us to get across.”

About Get Safe Online

Get Safe Online (www.getsafeonline.org), which is now entering its seventh year, is the UK’s national internet security awareness initiative. A joint partnership between the Government, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Ofcom and private sector sponsors from the worlds of technology, communication, retail and finance, the initiative continues to educate, inform and raise awareness of internet security issues to encourage confident, safe use of the internet. GetSafeOnline.org is supported by the Cabinet Office, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), Home Office, Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), National Fraud Authority & Action Fraud, Ofcom, HSBC, Microsoft, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Gumtree, Trend Micro, Symantec and PayPal.

About Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime, and provides a central point of contact for information and advice. The service is run by the National Fraud Authority – the government agency that helps co-ordinate the fight against fraud in the UK. Action Fraud works with partners in law enforcement - the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, run by the City of London Police - to make sure fraud reports reach the right place. All confirmed reports of fraud from Action Fraud are passed on to the NFIB. Members of the public, the police, businesses and charities can report to Action Fraud online or on the phone. If a crime is established, victims will be provided with a crime reference number.

Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or call the contact centre on 0300 123 2040 to speak to a specially trained advisor.

About National Fraud Intelligence Bureau

The NFIB is a national crime reporting and intelligence development centre for fraud reported by individual victims, small businesses and a wide range of public and private sector organisations. Hosted by the City of London Police, it is a key partner and driver of the Government’s counter fraud strategy and acts as a central co-ordination point for the regional law enforcement response to fraud and economic crime. It uses one of the most advanced police intelligence systems in the world to identify repeat and serious offenders and to share across sectors new and emerging and fraud trends with the aims of early crime prevention and victim protection, and proactive disruption of fraudsters.