VIEW FROM THE HOUSE
BOOKING a holiday at short notice can be one of the joys of life, but, if you are doing so online, you could be the victim of fraudsters.
Every holiday, however spontaneous, will involve a check-list. By visiting www.getsafeonline.org.uk you can find a detailed list of ways to safeguard yourself against fraud.
Some scams may be very obvious – such as fake competitions to win a holiday, involving paying a fee – but other criminals might mock up a website for holidays that do not exist, collect a deposit for a villa they do not own, or sell counterfeit flight tickets.
There are simple tips on researching advertisers online, ensuring that holiday companies belong to a reputable travel authority providing financial protection to holidaymakers, using a credit card safely to secure the payment and making sure you are logged off from the site so all the details of the transaction remain confidential – despite the excitement of having booked that precious holiday.
With the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, holidaymakers also need to take precautions when they are away, making sure that their privacy settings are up to date and they have anti-virus software.
Machine readable information like QR codes can be faked and, as these cannot be read by the human eye, this may not be immediately obvious. Personal information is gold dust for criminals. CIFAS, the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System released a report early in July which said that young people are particularly vulnerable to identity theft by criminals who steal information gleaned from phones or tablets used in public places. CIFAS reported that nearly 24,000 people aged 30 or under were the victims of this crime in 2015. That was a rise of 52 per cent from 2014. Taking care of all those details will help to ensure that the holiday memories are enjoyable ones. What’s your view on this? Have your say on our letters page