You have to feel sorry for the victims of fraud that wrongly
presumed they were buying genuine holidays through online websites Rightski.com
and ChaletHunter.com during the latter months of 2015. False chalet scams were
widely reported to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) as 2015 drew
to a close, with many unwitting victims falling foul to fraudsters who set up
fake websites on the internet, using bogus details and counterfeit
Early warnings of this criminal activity went viral over the
holidays, and an estimated £60,000 was stolen from victims, many of which
transferred money directly via bank transfers, with little chance of this being
Travel advice sites such as money.aol.com
were quick to report the scams and local newspapers such as the Burton
Mail are advising residents to take special care when booking a holiday
online this year.
people duped into paying for scam holidays?
All of the victims viewed and paid for the bogus holidays
through what they believed were official ski chalet websites. The unofficial
websites were easy to set up, seemed genuine enough and they actually
advertised real chalets under fake names, without the prior knowledge or
consent of their original owners.
People were duped, wrongly believing they were paying for
holidays of a lifetime, when in fact, all they had left to show for their
online transactions was a depleted bank account.
Reports so far would suggest that over a dozen victims have
contacted the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, and the NFIB are
urging anyone who believes they have been a victim of this crime to come
forward and report it as soon as possible.
Avoid Booking a Fraudulent Holiday
As we head
into the early parts of 2016 a growing number of people will be looking forward
to booking summer breaks, some will want to get away earlier and they’ll be
scouring the internet looking for great deals online right now.
fine as long as certain precautions are taken when using online resources, care
should be made when booking through websites to prove the deals are genuine and
to prevent fraudulent activities, such as advertising holiday chalets that
vigilant when booking your vacation this year, the NFIB has now suspended
activity on both the Rightski.com and ChaletHunter.com websites and taken down
each of their phone lines, but other seemingly genuine websites are just as
easy to establish, ready to rip the unsuspecting public off.
Do this to stay safe when booking a holiday online:
Check the web address – Make sure this is a genuine domain name backed by
.co.uk etc and it doesn’t revert to .org or something similar when you click to
complete a transaction.
Look for reviews – Can you find anything online that supports the credibility
of the company? Search for reviews on established travel websites left by
Are they a member of a trade
association? - Is the company backed by a professional
trade body like ABTA for instance? If not, you might be taking a risk.
Pay by Credit Card – If possible, use credit cards to pay for your holiday,
you’ll have more of a comeback if anything goes wrong this way.
Use common sense – The chances are if the deal seems too good to be true
it will be. You’ll have a good idea of the prices of accommodation, flights etc
to your chosen holiday destination, so be extra wary of a deal that’s much
cheaper than you’ve seen elsewhere.
Fraud can affect you in all walks of life.
Whether you have been the victim of workplace scams, telephone fraud, or bogus
internet transactions, you have to be extra vigilant to safeguard against this
type of criminal activity.
Here at Focus Training we specialise in
effective fraud awareness tuition, keep reading our blogs and to book any of
our intelligence analysis, investigation or specialist fraud courses, please
call us on 0870 919 4745.