TOURISTS have been warned about a trending villa scam that involves criminals tricking holidaymakers into transferring them money in exchange for an oversea ‘villa holiday’.
British travellers who are looking to enjoy a sun-filled holiday this year could be at risk of losing thousands of pounds if they don’t watch out for this new villa scam.
According to Barclays’ data, over 37 per cent of villa scams have resulted in victims losing between £1,000 and £5,000, figures that have been uncovered after customers direct reports to the bank.
The scam entails fraudsters hijacking overseas villas’ details or even using false information to try to con tourists into sending them money via bank transfer.
The British bank’s data shows that 36 per cent of victims were between 30 and 44 years of age.
The head of Barclays bank, Ross Martin, warns the public to make sure to carry out the necessary security checks before booking an online holiday, as scammers will be ready to take advantage of holidaymakers this summer.
Subsequently, Barclays carried out a survey targeting more than 2,000 people, and 55 per cent said that even if a holiday looked too good to be true they would hesitate to make the reservation.
Approximately 14 per cent said that they would still make the booking even if a risk of being scammed existed, and a quarter would run the risk if it meant getting a cheap deal for the summer.
Also, 43 per cent would not suspect a possible rip-off if they were asked to pay for the holiday via a bank transfer.
Holidaymakers have been warned that sending money to these villa criminals could mean never retrieving the cash, as bank authorisation is given by the customer.