Don’t get scammed this holiday season. Here’s what to watch out for
There’s a difference – or, more correctly, a lack of a difference – between a holiday scam and a regular scam.
To be fair, they probably are both scams, but the difference is in how well they are disguised. While there is no real difference between a regular and a holiday scam, there is one crucial difference in the way they are disguised.
Unlike the regular type of scams, there is no need to do anything illegal in order to be scammed a holiday. No need to break the law. No police involvement, nothing to report, no action needed.
And although the holiday scam may look illegal, it’s actually perfectly legal. These scams are usually set up with a legitimate company which makes the holiday-goer a small financial gain, but that isn’t what’s going on.
How does it work?
The holiday company gets a holiday-maker on their list. You sign up. Then the company tells you to pay them an upfront fee from your own money.
Then, at a later date, they tell you it costs you money out of your own pocket to go. They say they will refund it, but you’ll have to give them a huge amount of personal and financial information and your bank or credit card details, including a credit or debit card number.
For a holiday with a package deal, you’ll have your own money put in, which will then be deducted from the price you pay. And although you may think you’re going to get a refund, that’s not possible either – you just have to be honest with them.
It sounds like a lot of money. Is it real?
At the beginning, yes, it may seem like a lot of money. And you may think, “I couldn’t possibly pay that much to go on holiday.” But it’s not quite like that.
You’ll pay about £200-£300 for your flight, hotel room or car hire. That’s not a lot of money for a holiday, but it’s not a lot of money compared with what they’re promising you.
They may claim that you need to pay a larger upfront fee. Then they deduct the upfront fee and add interest at a rate of 2-5%.
You might think you’re going to