West Ham fans desperate to book flights and accommodation for theEuropa Conference League Final are being warned not to fall foul of scammers.
Demand for flights and accommodation for West Ham’s date with destiny in Prague (7 June) has soared over recent days.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which runs the ATOL travel protection scheme, is warning that the black market and scammers could become active.
Head of ATOL, Michael Budge, said: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
“While fans want to savour the atmosphere and hope for a win, obviously, we want to make sure they don’t unfortunately fall foul to the scammers looking to take advantage.”
The CAA stepped last year when a non-ATOL licensed travel business unlawfully sold trips to Liverpool fans for the Champions League final in Paris.
And just this week a report from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, revealed that in the last financial year, it received 6,457 reports of travel fraud, amounting to a loss of over £15m .
Travel fraud encompasses many different tactics employed by criminals to dupe unsuspecting members of the public. Among them are clone comparison websites, airline websites and holiday websites.
Fake confirmation emails or booking references are even sent, which has resulted in cases of some only realising they have fallen victim to fraud when they are at the airport to check in for their flight to be told that their booking does not exist.
All credible and trusted companies are provided with a number that shows the company has passed the regulatory checks by ATOL, with this number being unique to the website.
So, please be careful guys !