Travel fraud is likely to increase in 2023 as the cost-of-living crisis makes customers more susceptible to cheap deals, agents were warned.
Liz Holloway, fraud and chargeback manager at Jet2holidays, urged agents to be vigilant on deals which seem “too good to be true” as they will most likely be scams.
This year, she said, there has been a shift towards fraudulent bookings being made over the phone instead of online as websites have tightened their systems to prevent it.
Also new for this year, she warned, are customers altering dates of birth of passengers on their booking to suggest they are children rather than adults.
She also told agents they should look out for customers attempting to make a booking using multiple cards or making bookings using multiple providers, as they are all signs the booking might be fraudulent.
“Going forward to 2023, we expect fraud to increase across all industries, but especially in travel,” she told delegates at Jet2holidays’ annual conference.
“The cost-of-living crisis will have an impact. There is no doubt people will be poorer so might be far more susceptible to too good to be true offers which leads to more fraud.
“Fraudsters look to exploit smaller businesses because they think the business will have fewer fraud prevention measures compared to large companies.
She went on to encourage agents to use their platform in their community to urge the police to catch fraudsters.
“These people defrauding you are organised criminal gangs with structures, premises and hierarches. They do what we do; they gather together and ask how they can make more money.
“They are criminals so let the police investigate the crime. However, if you don’t feel the police are doing enough, use your power as an agent in the community and as a citizen and business owner to ask the police to do more to track down the person who has robbed you.”
She added: “Fraud is a constant challenge for our businesses and it will continue to increase next year.”