Holidaymakers warned of ‘staycation scams’

ireland
Holidaymakers Warned Of ‘Staycation Scams’
Irish consumers are planning multiple staycations this summer.
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Digital Desk staff

Consumers are being warned of the risk of staycation holiday scams.

It comes as Fáilte Ireland says 60 per cent of people are planning a holiday at home in the next six months.

Fraud awareness group Fraud Smart say they anticipate copycat websites offering holiday accommodation that look almost identical to the legitimate site.

Keith Gross, of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland, says the risks are the same with holidays at home as they are with foreign ones:

“Probably people feel a bit more relaxed when they’re dealing with domestic staycation offers but the same rules apply in terms of looking at the bona fides of these websites, there’s copycat websites, there’s fake emails and also social media ads which can be fake and the consumer can be lured into them.”

Some top tips and checks when researching and booking staycation accommodation include:

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Thoroughly research any online offer. Check that a web address is genuine and only purchase through an official website.Type the URL of the company or seller directly into your browser rather than clicking on it from an e-mail or social media post, which could take you to a fraudulent site.Avoid cheap online deals or "super deals" found on social media ads. If the price of your holiday is considerably cheaper that the average cost elsewhere you should be suspicious. Remember if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.Check out whether the website offering the deal has been reviewed online across different trusted sources.Use a reputable company and make sure the web address for the reputable company is legitimate.Independently verify the property if possible, by using Google maps and street view.If renting private or self-catering accommodation, call the owner or agent directly to ensure that it is a real listing. Also look out to see if the company or owner is a member of a recognised travel or accommodation authority. Most listings are genuine and legitimate but watch out for fake listings. Popular and well-known holiday booking websites such as Airbnb, booking.com and FiveStar.ie are reliable places to find accommodation.Stay on the watch for fake websites and fake social media accounts - scammers and criminals will use the opportunity of holiday offers and deals to set up fake websites offering cheap online deals which are used to obtain your money and personal information.

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