Holidaymakers were urged today to be wary of “fake” booking websites that are fleecing customers of significant sums of money.
Several new alleged scams have been detected this month after hundreds of travellers were taken in by similar sites last year, the boss of a leading holiday booking website today warned.
A UK police source said two websites, luxuryrentalsvilla.com and cycladesrentals.com, were being shut down in response to an alleged fraud.
The source said: “We are using the tools available to protect other holidaymakers from falling prey to the same scam websites. Any prosecution of the website owners will be a longer job to prepare.”
In 2016, a report by police revealed fraudsters stole £11.5 million from holidaymakers, mainly booking overseas, and other travellers in 2015, a 425 per cent increase on the previous year.
The most common types of fraud related to accommodation, with scammers conning travellers by setting up fake websites, hacking legitimate accounts and posting fake adverts on websites and social media.
It is not known if the two fake sites were advertising villas/holidays in Portugal.