Bogus holiday sickness claims warning extended to Portugal

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has extended a warning over bogus holiday illness claims management companies to British holidaymakers in Portugal.

The move follows Jet2holidays enlisting private detectives to help in the fight against false holiday sickness claims.

The ongoing issue, which was highlighted on ITV News last night, has raised the prospect of Spanish hoteliers either increasing all-inclusive prices or pulling out of the sector for the UK market due to the volume of fraudulent sickness claims.

The FCO, in updated travel advice for Portugal yesterday, said: “There have been reports of an increase in holidaymakers being encouraged to submit a claim for personal injury if they have experienced gastric illness during their stay.”

The FCO urged British holidaymakers to “only consider pursuing a complaint or claim if you have genuinely suffered from injury or illness”.

And it warned: “If you make a false or fraudulent claim, you may face legal proceedings in the UK or Portugal.”

Gastric illness claims by British holidaymakers in the Balearic Islands are reported to have increased by 700% in the past year.

Abta has written to foreign secretary Boris Johnson to highlight “the negative impact on the reputation of UK holidaymakers”.

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