Premier Travel, which has a branch in Swaffham, is urging people booking their summer getaways this year to be vigilant of holiday scammers after more than 4,000 people fell victim last year.
The East Anglian travel firm is warning people in the region to be aware about the dangers posed by holiday booking fraud following a new report by Action Fraud, which revealed that 4,700 travellers were victims of some kind of travel-related scam in 2017.
The most common types of fraud related to the sale of airline tickets and accommodation bookings, according to the report, with scammers setting up fake websites, posting fake adverts for accommodation online and on social media, and people paying for an airline ticket that never shows up.
Premier Travel, which has a branch in Market Place, Swaffham, advised people to do their research and not book in haste if a deal looked too good to be true, especially in peak holiday periods.
Paul Waters, director of Premier Travel, said: “Worryingly, the number of people who reported travel fraud was highest in the summer and in December, which means fraudsters are targeting the peak holiday periods when demand is higher and availability limited.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen the damage caused by holiday scammers, with devastated customers asking us for advice after finding out they have been duped. It can have a huge impact on a person’s health, emotional well-being and finances.
“Holidays are one of the biggest purchases many of us make each year, so it’s important to make sure everything is above board. Be wary and don’t get lured into something that might look to be a cut price holiday, flight or a deal on accommodation – check the company is reputable and seek advice from a travel firm if you’re ensure. If in doubt, don’t book.”