A report compiled by Action Fraud, which is run by the City of London Police, reveals the scale of reported crime and exposes the common tactics used by fraudsters.
The average amount lost per person was over £1,500, an increase of 25% year on year. These individual losses are substantial, but this form of fraud also has other severe effects with almost half (2,245) of victims saying that it also had a significant impact on their health or financial wellbeing. Most worryingly of all, 575 people said the impact on them was so severe that they had to receive medical treatment or were at risk of bankruptcy.
The most common types of fraud relate to the sale of airline tickets (47%) and accommodation booking (38%).
4,700 people told Action Fraud that they had been the victim of a travel related fraud in 2017. The three campaign partners believe that the actual figure is much higher, with many victims not realising that they should always report the fraud to Action Fraud.
In common with previous years, the numbers of people reporting travel fraud jumps in the summer and in December. This is a very clear indication that fraudsters are targeting the peak holiday periods and people who are going home to visit friends and family. Fraudsters know that demand will be high and availability low, so good value bookings will be harder to find with customers on the lookout for reasonable prices.