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Holiday Booking Scam

If you're booking your next holiday, watch out for fake deals and clone websites as criminals increase their efforts to trick holidaymakers out of their money this summer.

The warning comes after a family in Westhill lost nearly £2000 having responded to a fake advert for a travel agency on Facebook. The advert was a clone of a genuine travel agency. Scammers convinced the family they were communicating with a genuine travel company but didn’t spot that the email address being used was slightly different.

How to protect yourself

Make sure you're dealing with the real firm before sharing any personal information. Go directly to the firm's official website (don't click links in emails or texts) – look at the website address to make sure.

Be extremely wary of any unsolicited contact. Even if it looks authentic and uses the right branding, it's likely to be a scam.

Look closely at links and website addresses. In the above incident, the email address had been changed by adding an extra ‘s’ after the company name.

If you’ve been scammed

If you've already responded to a scam, end all communication immediately.

Call your bank directly and cancel any payments – or, for speed and ease, you can call the 159 hotline.

If you’ve lost money report the incident to Police Scotland using 101 or via the Contact Us form at www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/

Further advice regarding how to stay safe from scams can be found in The Little Book of Big Scams which is available to read online. PDF logo

Original message sent by Michael Urquhart (Police Scotland, PC, A Div - North East Crime Reduction Team)

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