Wakefield has been identified as one of the most at-risk cities after HSBC issued a ‘clone’ travel scam alert.

HSBC has issued a warning about a rise in travel scams, advising customers to be on the lookout for “clones” of travel expert websites and fraudulent emails.

A substantial £12.3 million was lost last year in the UK to holiday fraud, and while Brits love a bargain especially when it comes to breaks away, it can often enough can lead to becoming a victim of nasty scams.

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In a recent statement, the bank said: “Have you spotted a last-minute holiday deal on social media? Does the travel company only accept payment by bank transfer? Be careful – this could be a scam.

“Fraudsters are creating fake adverts and emails to scam holidaymakers. They often impersonate travel companies to trick people into visiting a bogus website.” The bank added that these websites can look “very convincing”, and some “may even be clones” of real travel companies.

It continued: “Fraudsters may ask you to pay for your holiday by bank transfer – this makes it much harder for you to get your money back.”

The number of people being conned into paying for fake flights and accommodation is high. In 2023, Action Fraud received 6,640 reports of holiday fraud, largely due to more people seeking a cheap holiday deal due to the cost-of-living crisis.

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