Avoiding travel related fraud
You are at risk of losing money when booking with travel companies that offer flights or flight-inclusive holidays on websites that falsely claim to hold an ATOL or to offer ATOL protection.
It is possible that websites providing false ATOL protection claims are run from outside the UK, and while we and other agencies work to stop such websites sadly it is not always possible to do so.
Therefore, we urge you to be extra vigilant when searching for flights or flight-inclusive holidays, and to check that websites that claim to provide ATOL protection are operated either by a genuine ATOL holder or by an agent acting on behalf of an ATOL holder.
If you’ve seen a website that you believe includes false ATOL protection claims, let us know via [email protected]
Top Tips to avoid falling victim to travel related fraud:
Check the logo
The ATOL logo must show an accompanying number. ATOL numbers comprise of four or five digits. It may include a T at the start. Many ATOL holders show their ATOL number within the ATOL logo.
Check an ATOL
Before booking, search the company using our Check for ATOL tool and check that the exact name matches that on the website. ATOL holder’s trading names, numbers and website addresses are registered with us. If in doubt, contact the ATOL holder via the telephone number included on their record.
Ensure website legitimacy
Check that the website address is legitimate and has not been altered, for example the company name is misspelt or the address has changed from .co.uk to .org.
Ask about ATOL protection
You may be looking at a holiday that is being made available by a company that is acting as an agent for an ATOL holder. If so, travel agents must identify who is protecting your trip when advertising ATOL protected bookings.
If you are unsure who is protecting a holiday, ask your travel agent and search the company on Check for ATOL, you can also confirm with the ATOL holder directly.
When the prices quoted for flights or holidays are much lower than equivalents quoted on other websites, consider whether it sounds too good to be true. So, again, check the company is who they say there are by checking and asking about ATOL protection.
Review Terms & Conditions
Before booking look through the company’s terms and conditions to ensure there are no anomalies.
Check the details
Make sure that every detail of your booking is correct before confirming a payment.
Be extra cautious if you are asked to pay using bank transfer or cash, never pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. Pay by card where possible.
Avoid unsolicited holiday offers
You may receive unsolicited emails, texts, social media or calls with holiday offers. Do not reply to these and remember links and attachments in emails may lead to malicious websites or contain viruses.
Keep personal data safe
Before inputting your card details on a website, make sure that the website is secure. You will see a padlock symbol in the browser window frame and the web address will begin with “https”.
If you have fallen victim to travel related fraud, see our advice on how to report it