Travel money: How to avoid online fraud when booking a holiday – currency expert’s tips

This year has seen a resurgence in more Britons ditching holidays abroad for a break slightly closer to home. Beach holidays on the south coast, camping trips in the Pennines and hiking holidays in Scotland have never been more popular. But with many of Britons now choosing to remain in the UK for a holiday, online fraudsters have been targeting keen holidaymakers looking for staycation deals online.

In June UK Finance, a banking industry body, said criminals were exploring the uncertainty around travel restrictions and cancellations.

Fraud prevention service Cifas recorded a spike in the number of holidaymakers being contacted by fraudsters saying they were from travel companies and insurers.

UK Finance also warned fraudsters were now also targeting staycationers by advertising fake listings for caravans and motorhomes on websites.

Founder of Currensea James Lynn spoke exclusively to about what holidaymakers should look out for when they’re looking to book a holiday online.

“The main advice I would give is don’t pay by bank transfer,” he said.

“Paying by bank transfer leaves you wide open to fraud.

“You won’t be protected and it’s extremely hard to get money back after that.”

The currency expert also advised holidaymakers to be “cautious” when receiving phone calls, replying to emails and when viewing social media posts.

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Last month, consumers were warned about an increase in holiday scams which include fake social media accounts and posts.

Glamping specialist Canopy & Stars said they had noticed a rise in scams on social media platforms.

Managing director of the Glamping site warned last month: “We have noticed some of our popular spaces, already booked up for August, being advertised via what look like sham social accounts.

“We are asking guests to be aware and be vigilant.”

Lynn said that often these fraudsters advertise holidays and breaks that look “too good to be true”.

He said: “If something sounds too good to be true, it often is too good to be true.”

The co-founder of Currensea advised holidaymakers to do “solid research on any options that come up.”

He added: “It’s a frustrating business that fraudsters prey on opportunities, and this is an opportunity where everyone is going to various places in the UK.”

Lynn concluded that travellers need to avoid paying by bank transfer, do their research and check online reviews.

“Then you can minimise the chances of being caught out.”

Currensea is a travel card that links directly to your bank account, eliminating the hassle of juggling currencies with prepaid cards or different accounts.

The card automatically saves travellers 85 percent on bank charges anywhere in the world.

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