Tourists warned over holiday club scamsStay clear of scratchcard touts

15 October 2007

 

Scratch card

Trading standards officers (TSOs) are blitzing a number of UK airports this month to warn holidaymakers not get ripped off by Spanish holiday scams.

Every year 400,000 UK consumers fall victim to scams at resorts such as Tenerife, Costa del Sol and Gran Canaria.

This is the peak time for consumers to be targeted by bogus holiday clubs – with the average victim losing over £3,000.

Holidaymakers are often targeted by 'scratchcard touts'.

Scratchcard touts

The card will always be a winner, but to collect their prize consumers need to attend a lengthy presentation.

But once there victims are persuaded into signing a contract for an 'exclusive' club on the basis of false claims as to the price, range and quality of holidays available.

And after spending thousands of pounds consumers often find they have bought little more than access to an internet booking service offering no more than they could get at any high street travel agent.

The TSOs – together with the Scambusters team from the Office of Fair Trading –  are visiting Glasgow, Manchester, Luton and Bristol airports.

Airport campaign

The awareness campaign, which is being carried out in association with Spanish authorities, will also involve advertising at Tenerife South airport as UK holidaymakers arrive in Spain.

María Luz Peñacoba, Director of the European Consumer Centre in Madrid, said: 'In Spain we will be handing out information and advice to holidaymakers arriving at resorts warning them of the dangers of these distressing and expensive scams. The authorities are continuing to enforce the law and looking to tighten restrictions on bogus holiday clubs.'

Our bogus holiday clubs report will tell you what to look out for abroad and how you can avoid falling victim to these scams.