One in three Brits are putting themselves at risk of fraud because they do not confirm the authenticity of travel providers before giving out their credit card details when booking a holiday online, says Get Safe Online.
Research by the organisation which aims to advise web users on staying safe online, which was conducted in conjunction with ABTA, revealed more than two thirds (67 percent) of Brits admit they've never heard of holiday rental scams, where web users are encouraged to fork out to rent a home abroad which doesn't exist, while 68 percent said they were unaware of the chance that some websites offering holidays maybe fake.
Furthermore, 22 percent said they don't both to check whether pages on holiday-booking sites were secure when entering payment details.
Get Safe Online also said more than one in five (22 percent) of holidaymakers have been approached with holiday deals or villa rentals via unsolicited emails, phones calls or SMS text messages from individuals or organisations they don't know.
"When we've been working hard the rest of the year, for most people, making sure we have a great summer holiday is really important. Fraudsters recognise this and play on people's desires - we get caught up in the excitement of a 'bargain dream holiday' and cautiousness goes out of the window," said Tony Neate, managing director of Get Safe Online.
"When things don't start to add up, that's when you really need to do your research. For example, if you decide to rent a villa or holiday home from an individual and they don't provide a contact telephone number or don't respond to calls, and they ask for full payment upfront to be made by a cheque in the post or wire transfer, then you need to be very careful. For private rentals, this may be the only way they can take payment, but it does make them almost impossible to track."
Get Safe Online advised web users to take follow its Travel Essentials Checklist of basic prevention measures such finding out if your holiday provider is a member of ABTA or comparable travel organisation , or search online to see if other travellers have had a bad experiences.
The full checklist can be found on Get Safe Online's website.
See also: 85% of Brits will email while on holiday