Booking that long-awaited holiday or travel online? Don’t fall victim to travel fraud!
Following a year of travel bans, quarantine, uncertainty and missed holidays,
many of us are desperate to get away for a break,
whether it’s a holiday in the sun or a weekend by the sea in the UK.
You may be taking the plunge and booking right now, or waiting cautiously until the travel situation becomes clearer.
Or you may be booking travel and accommodation for that face-to-face
meeting you’ve yearned for every time you go on a video call.
But cybercriminals are busy thinking about holidays and travel too ...
not taking them but exploiting your desperation for a break, with fake websites, advertisements, emails, social media posts,
texts and phone calls for holidays, flights, accommodation or pilgrimages that don’t exist.
Avoid disappointment and financial losses:
start by reading Get Safe Online's expert tips on searching and booking holidays, and travel safely and securely.
Top tips to ensure your holiday or travel booking is safe
- Do thorough research on accommodation, flights, cruises, package holidays
or pilgrimages advertised via private advertisements, to check they’re authentic.
- Check that accommodation really exists by finding it on Google Maps
and looking for independent reviews and recommendations.
If you can, call and speak to the owner/agent directly.
If the number is not provided, email and request it.
- Check reviews on TripAdvisor or similar sites.
- Never pay for holidays or travel by bank transfer.
If you do and it’s a fraud, you may never see your money again.
Paying by credit card means more chance of getting your money back if something goes wrong.
- Make sure travel agents and tour operators you book through are members of trade associations
such as ABTA or ATOL, by checking on these bodies’ websites.
For the full story, visit ‘Protecting Yourself Holiday & Travel Booking’
Don’t get caught out by a COVID-19 vaccination scam
Commonplace COVID-19-related scams have included fake advertisements for PPE to priority online shopping slots,
HMRC monetary grants to travel refund services,
and fake NHS Test & Trace messages informing recipients that they have been in contact
with someone who has tested positive, and need to buy a home testing kit.
With the UK vaccination programme in full swing,
the most recent wave of scams has focused on fraudulent offers of vaccinations,
attempting to persuade recipients that they can ‘jump the queue’.
A more complete list can be found at
Coronavirus Scams You should Be Aware Of
Firstly, as we all know and try to communicate the importance of reporting 101Report on line
and 999 If a crime is in progress.
Also, there is Crime Stoppers 0800 555111CrimeStopers-org.uk
which is always 100 % anonymous.
Brief outline of Cuckooing and County Lines
a practice where people take over a person's home and use the property to facilitate exploitation.
It takes the name from cuckoos who take over the nests of other birds.
There are different types of cuckooing using the property to deal, store or take drugs.
Some signs to look out for include:
- An increase in people entering and leaving
- An increase in cars or bikes outside
- Possible increase in anti-social behaviour
- Increasing litter outside
- Signs of drugs use
- Lack of healthcare visitors
County Lines - is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries (although not exclusively), usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs. The ‘County Line’ is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs. Importing areas (areas where the drugs are taken to) are reporting increased levels of violence and weapons-related crimes as a result of this trend.
Some signs to look out for include:
- An increase in visitors and cars to a house or flat
- New faces appearing at the house or flat
- New and regularly changing residents (e.g., different accents compared to local accent
- Change in resident's mood and/or demeanor (e.g., secretive/ withdrawn/ aggressive/ emotional)
- Substance misuse and/or drug paraphernalia
- Changes in the way young people you might know dress
- Unexplained, sometimes unaffordable new things (e.g., clothes, jewelry, cars etc)
- Residents or young people you know going missing, maybe for long periods of time
- Young people seen in different cars/taxis driven by unknown adults
- Young people seeming unfamiliar with your community or where they are
- Truancy, exclusion, disengagement from school
- An increase in anti-social behaviour in the community
- Unexplained injuries.
Caroline Spencer the area representative for Crime Stoppers - (Arun West)
Chair Arun West Neighbourhood Watch.
IF YOU’RE PREPARED TO DRIVE WHILE OVER THE LIMIT, PREPARE TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES.
The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include the following:
- Killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else;
- A minimum 12 month ban;
- An unlimited fine;
- A possible prison sentence;
- A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
- An increase in your car insurance costs;
- Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.
Alternatively, people in Sussex can text police on 65999* with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving,
or visit the Operation Crackdown website.
The campaign is being run in conjunction with the
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and DriveSmart in Surrey.
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