Staycation scams: Warning issued for home holiday makers this summer 3 months ago

Staycation scams: Warning issued for home holiday makers this summer

Avoid getting caught out.

A warning has been issued around staycation scams this summer.

According to FraudSMART, more and more people are likely to fall victim to home holiday hoaxes as the majority of people stay in Ireland for the summer.

The fraud awareness initiative, led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, has warned holiday makers of the risks involved, pointing to copycat websites and online deals as the scams that are most likely to crop up this year.

Keith Gross, Head of Financial Crime & Security at BPFI said that the number of people searching for holiday homes around the country was up 112 percent in June compared to the same time last year.

“As a result of this pent-up demand, we are warning consumers of an increased risk in holiday purchase scams as fraudsters take advantage of this," he said.

"The types of scams we anticipate include copycat websites offering holiday accommodation which will look almost identical to the legitimate site.

"We are also warning consumers to be on the lookout for fake emails and ads on social media offering holiday deals which appear to be offering bargain prices but are in reality too good to true."

According to Fáilte Ireland, 60 percent of people are planning to take a break in Ireland in the next six months.

FraudSMART has advised consumers to take heed of checks and tips to ensure they do not fall victim to scams and lose any money while booking staycations this summer by "ensuring any website that you use to book a holiday is genuine, never clicking through to a sellers website via an email link or social media advert and never forgetting that if an offer looks too good to be true is usually is.”

These tips include:

  • Thoroughly researching any online offer
  • Checking a website or web address is genuine and only purchasing through an official website
  • Avoiding cheap online deals or ‘super deals’ found on social media ads
  • Independently verifying properties if possible by using Google maps/Street view

You can find FraudSMART's full list of recommendations here.