Holiday scams

Holiday scams are on the rise, with millions of pounds lost to fraudsters.

Don’t get burnt by offers that are too-good-to-be true.


Going abroad or planning a break?

Be careful of fraudsters posting cheap deals on social media.

In 2023, Action Fraud reported over £12 million lost to fake holiday offers.¹ Halifax customers lost an average of £744 throughout the year.²

Common holiday scams

Holiday cancellations

Fraudsters know that it’s stressful when flights or accommodation get cancelled. They may use it as a chance to trick people into giving them their personal and banking details.

Look out for emails that offer help getting money back or phone calls from fake ‘refund agents’.

Protect yourself and go to the official website or contact the company directly before giving any details.

Fake accommodation

Found a cheap deal for a beautiful place? Take care. Especially if you feel pressured into booking right away and paying by bank transfer.

Buy from a trusted company that’s ABTA or ATOL protected. Use a payment method, such as a credit card, that offers buyer protection.

When you book a stay with Airbnb or, always pay through their site. Don’t send money directly to the host. If an email says your payment didn’t go through, confirm it with the host on the site before you do anything else.

Tickets to nowhere

Watch out for fake flight deals and tempting offers. Fraudsters create fake ads for cheap flights or pretend to sell tickets that no one can use.

Fraudsters ask for a fee to change the name on the ticket, take the money, and disappear, leaving victims without a ticket and nowhere to go.

If you are booking flights, make sure it’s through a real travel company that’s ABTA or ATOL protected. If you get an email saying your payment didn’t go through after booking, check with the service provider before paying more.

Fake giveaways

Watch out for fake giveaways on social media, where fraudsters post content for you to share and then say that you’re a winner. They’ll ask you to enter your personal information and card details.

Be careful when entering competitions and be sure to check the company's official website yourself - if the deal isn't there its likely a scam.

Top tips

When booking a holiday, protect yourself from scams.

  • Make sure the travel company is ABTA or ATOL protected.
  • Be careful of fake posts on social media. 
  • Avoid deals that look too-good-to-be-true.

How to spot a fake website

Have you checked the address?

Fraudsters can pretend to be a company or brand you know and create a website that looks real. Double check the web address and page for anything unusual.

If you see spelling mistakes, low-quality images, a different design to the site you know, it’s probably a scam.

Use a website checker, like the one on Get Safe Online, if you aren’t sure.

Have you checked the reviews?

Purchase tickets and hotel stays from trusted retailers or, even better, direct from the airline or hotel.

Stay clear of websites that advertise holidays at lower-than-normal prices, as it could be a scam.

Before you book, look for reviews on websites such as Trustpilot or TripAdvisor.

Learn about other scams and how to protect yourself

Learn about the latest scams

Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to try to steal your details and money. Discover which scams are common right now.

Go to latest scams

Have you been targeted by fraudsters?

Contact us right away if you think you've been scammed. We can then guide you on what to do next.

Contact us now
  1. Information sourced from an article by Action Fraud, published in February 2024.
  2. Figures based on internal analysis of relevant purchase scams (holiday tickets) reported by Halifax customers from January - December 2023.

Stay scam safe

Find out how to spot and avoid scams, and how to report fraud.

Protect yourself from fraud

Stay scam safe

Find out how to spot and avoid scams, and how to report fraud.

Protect yourself from fraud