Barclays warns Consumers of villa fraud

Barclays has issued a warning to holidaymakers not to be taken in by scams when buying villa holidays.

It says 37% of villa scams, reported by its customers, result in losses of between £1,000 and £5,000.

Its research, which also questioned more than 2,000 consumers, found that in 59% of reported cases the victims were women.

It also found 36% of victims were aged 30 to 44 years old.

More than half (55%) said they would not be put off booking a holiday even if it seemed ‘too good to be true’.

More worryingly, 14% said they would still book holiday accommodation despite knowing there was a risk of being scammed and 26% would be prepared to put themselves at risk in the hope of getting a good deal.

The research also found 43% would not hear alarm bells if they were asked to pay for a holiday via bank transfer.

Head of digital safety, Ross Martin, said: “Trying to escape those January blues may seem like an appealing prospect, but fraudsters are preparing to take advantage of sun seekers at this time of year.