What is a Holiday Scam?
Sadly, the holiday scam business seems to be casting a wider net each year with more and more unsuspecting holiday makers being reeled in and taken advantage of by unscrupulous con-people.
More often than not, the scammer doesn’t own and has never owned a holiday home but has spotted an opportunity to rob people of their hard-earned cash. They do this by falsifying a caravan; stealing images from the internet to create a fictious rental with ‘cheap’ rates, particularly during peak season to lure people in to paying a deposit by bank transfer. Often, they will advertise on free selling sites and Facebook groups because it costs them nothing to put up a listing and there is next to no traceability, or if you’re asking for a holiday, will contact you via private message only or simply comment ‘PM you’ on your post.
With this in mind, it is vitally important that you exercise due diligence and undertake thorough research before thinking about paying over money by bank transfer to an unknown person. There is no comeback if you pay by bank transfer. All you can do is report the person, who is probably using a fake profile, to Action Fraud. You are then left out of pocket, without a holiday and a heap of frustration and disappointment.
Always ask lots of questions because genuine owners or their letting agents really don’t mind as they want the scammers stopped too. Scammers not only damage the reputations of bone-fide owners and agents, they taint what should be a great experience for holiday makers. There is a big difference between an affordable holiday booked privately with an owner (rather than the park operator) and a cheap, too-good-to-be-true holiday price from a scammer – be vigilant.
Below, we have put together some tips to help you to recognise and avoid potential scams and scamming activity. If you are ever in any doubt, do not make any payments.