Scam alert: Red flags to look out for when booking a holiday

Brits are being warned to be vigilant when booking a summer holiday to avoid losing their hard-earned cash to scammers

Brits are being warned to be vigilant when booking a summer holiday to avoid losing their hard-earned cash to scammers.

Consumer experts at have identified five holiday scams to be aware of or face getting ripped off and without a summer break.

From 2021 to 2022, there were over 4,244 incidents of holiday-related fraud received by Action Fraud, resulting in hard-working Britons losing thousands to scammers.

Now experts are urging those booking their summer holiday to be on the lookout for dodgy hotel reviews and fake coach transfers, as it could be a scammer behind the computer screen.

John Stirzaker, online consumer expert at said: “The moment the weather starts to warm up, our first thoughts immediately turn to booking a summer holiday.

“Unfortunately, many scammers are using people’s desire for a break as an opportunity to exploit and deceive others out of their hard-earned money.

“This isn’t only devastating to many families who have saved for years to afford the holiday, but it can make them scared to ever book one again in the future.

“To help people be aware of what red flags they need to be cautious of, we’ve identified five scams that people have fallen victim to when booking their holiday.”

Here are five holiday booking scams to be aware of:

  1. Check reviews on multiple websites

Review standards vary in each country, so while it may be listed as a five-star, it may in fact be lower. Hotel owners can also dispute any low reviews if ‘unjustly’ made, which can make the reviews higher than they should be.

  1. Double-check the booking site

Scammers can create fake web pages that look identical to legitimate booking sites meaning you’ll be directly paying into their pocket for a trip that will never happen. Always make sure the links are correct by double-checking for any misspellings and if the site quality is lower than it should be.

  1. Ride airline verified coach transfers

When booking for coaches, try and stick to airline-verified ones that are the same as your flight, otherwise you could be conned by paying over the odds for spare seats on a random coach at the airport. They may also take the longer route to get you to pay more for the ride

  1. Travel Insurance

Only book travel insurance via verified websites with certification and approval checks otherwise you could be giving your bank details to fraudsters. When you do book through verified sites, read the fine print before going through to check everything it covers in case of worst-case scenarios. Quotes may also be higher if you have pre-existing medical conditions so make sure to fill the form out correctly.

  1. Hold off from buying experiences unless it’s a verified package holiday

Experience deals may not be sold at the right price or won’t provide what’s in the description if it’s booked on external pages. Try booking these things through your hotel to make sure they’re legit or you could end up paying double the amount you intended to.

It’s always best to book your holiday through a travel agent. That way your holiday, and your money, are both in safe hands.