Trading Standards Scotland is warning holidaymakers to be on their guard against holiday scams this summer. With international travel restrictions still in place, many holidaymakers are likely to book accommodation within the UK this year.
The warning comes following a large number of consumer issues with holiday bookings reported in 2020. These included fake accommodation listings on social media, cold calls and unsolicited emails offering holiday deals, scam websites and fake reviews on popular travel websites.
Holidaymakers were left in tears last year after paying hundreds of pounds in cash for caravan breaks advertised on social media which turned out to be fake. When they arrived at the holiday park, they discovered that the accommodation was not owned by the person who had advertised it and had to pay another £500 to book a last-minute break at the park.
Julie McCarron, Head of Intelligence & Coordination at Trading Standards Scotland, said: “Demand for popular Scottish destinations is likely to be high, particularly during the summer months, and scammers may look to take advantage of this by creating fake social media accounts and websites to advertise accommodation that does not exist or that has already been booked.
“We would like to remind consumers to be wary of bargain getaways advertised on on social media or in unsolicited emails. Links in these adverts could lead to copycat websites which look similar to genuine booking websites, with similar URLs.
“Always contact the holiday provider via their official website or publicly listed phone number to check that the accommodation is legitimately available at the price quoted and for the required dates.”
More information about booking scams can be found here.