Scot’s planning ‘Staycation’ breaks have been urged to be aware following reports of scam bookings in the last year.
Due to COVID restrictions, the need for safe at home trips will be high, particularly as we enter the summer months.
Scammers may look to take advantage of this demand by creating fake social media posts and websites, advertising accommodation that has already been booked or doesn’t exist.
Cath Marshall of Pitlochry Neighbourhood Watch said:
“When you see all these reports of scams in one place, it really brings home how horrendous scammers are and how low they will stoop.
“Our job is to make as many people as possible aware of the tricks they get up to. Only by being aware of their tricks and not falling for them, can we help keep our community safe.”
Trading Standards Scotland have issued a guide to help holidaymakers identify and avoid ‘Scamcations’
Booking with recognised websites can also ensure the safety of your trip. If you are not familiar with the name of the company you’re booking through, check that they are a member of a recognised trade organisation such as ABTA.
When booking through accommodation sites avoid making payments through external methods like bank transfer. Conduct bookings and transactions through authorised methods within the booking websites.
Trading Standards also advises booking with credit card as this will give you additional protection if you are a victim of fraud.
Always make sure you retain copies of information on your holiday provider and contact details and be wary of any refusal to provide receipts, invoices or terms and conditions.
Report all holiday scams to Advice Direct Scotland, either using their free consumer helpline on 0808 164 6000 or via scamwatch.scot.
If you have been the victim of fraud, report it to Police Scotland on 101.