Police are warning would-be holidaymakers to watch out for holiday villa fraud during one of the most popular months for booking holidays, after a fraudster was arrested.
The fraudster, who used lettings agency websites to con people into booking bogus European holiday villas, was jailed for two years. He had stolen more than £120,000 from 13 different victims over the course of a year. The fraudster advertised luxury rental villas in St Tropez, Cannes and Verbier, with prices starting from 6,500 Euros per week.
As soon as someone showed an interest, the fraudster employed high pressure sales tactics to make people book a villa. They were then given instructions to wire money until the balance had been paid, after which the fraudster would disappear.
Look out for holiday fraudsters
This scenario is a typical version of holiday fraud. People booking holiday villas, or any type of holiday, should use reputable travel companies and check all details on adverts for holiday properties.
Remember that fraudsters also advertise holidays and villas on legitimate websites, so don’t assume an advert is genuine just because the website is.
Anyone who has lost money to a holiday fraud should report it to Action Fraud.
Read more about the holiday villa fraudster arrest on the City of London Police’s website.
Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.