Holidaymakers are being warned about a rise in flight cancellation compensation scams.
Claims management firms that used to target PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) mis-selling have muscled in on flight delays and cancellations caused by the pandemic.
They claim to offer a “no win, no fee” service which is supposed to allow holidaymakers to check whether they are due compensation under EU travel rules.
However, people who fill in an online form but then opt not to use the service find themselves then flooded with demands for payment by these firms.
Other tactics include not handing on the compensation received to the customer or charging a fee for a service the very same customer can obtain elsewhere for free.
There are concerns that these claims management companies’ terms and conditions are dubious.
Nick Downing, chief intelligence officer for the fraud prevention service Cifas, said: “Over the last couple of months we’ve seen a sharp rise in holidaymakers being contacted by criminals purporting to be from travel companies, tour operators and insurers offering to refund or rebook cancelled holidays, as well as setting up fake websites offering refunds and compensation to holidaymakers.”
Age UK is also concerned about the rise in scams.
The charity said: “Be wary of approaches from compensation ﬁrms promising to arrange travel, accommodation or event entry refund as they may well be fraudulent.
“If in doubt, call the company you have been dealing with, on the phone number that you know to be correct.
“These approaches can take the form of emails, texts, social media posts, direct messages, online advertisements and phone calls.”