Everyone going on holiday this year has been warned to double check their bookings after more than £10m were lost to holiday scams last year.

New figures from Action Fraud reveal the scale of would-be holidaymakers losing money to criminals.

And it shows how vigilant anyone booking a trip away needs to be to ensure they’re not caught out by fraudsters.

Jessica Hampson, Chairwoman of CEL Solicitors, said: “At this time of year, lots of people will be looking at bargains for summer trips away.

“Whether it's cheap flights, cut-price accommodation or a convenient transfer, it seems there are more options than ever before when it comes to booking every aspect of a holiday.

“But this gives criminals the perfect opportunity to swoop in with bogus deals to get hold of people’s hard-earned money.”

The data, obtained by CEL Solicitors through a Freedom of Information request to Action Fraud, revealed that there were 4,386 cases of holiday fraud reported in the 2022-2023 financial year.

This included 1,726 cases of ticket fraud - such as travel and excursions - and 1,461 cases of people being scammed via online shopping and auctions classified by Action Fraud under ‘Holiday Fraud’.

The total lost to holiday scams was a staggering £10,079,288 across the same period.

Mrs Hampson said: “The amount of money lost to holiday scams is eye-watering. People work hard and save up all year for their trips, so it’s cruel that criminals are taking this money instead.

“Imagine looking forward to a holiday, or an important part of it, that doesn’t exist.

“While banks should flag large payments and warn their customers, the best thing to do is be vigilant and be aware of the common signs of a scam.”

Mrs Hampson recommends booking directly through an airline or hotel, to mitigate risks. And checking the Association of British Travel Agents to ensure the place of booking is a registered member.

Check the URLs on websites for ‘https’ - the ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’ - and ensure there is a padlock symbol before making any payments.

“You should also look up the agent you’re using and even try to search the word ‘scam’ alongside it as this should bring up any suspicious activity from the company,” said Mrs  Hampson.

“Be wary of low prices: If it seems too good to be true then it probably is. If a company contacts you out of the blue with a deal, this is a red flag and you should do your research before you engage or click any links.

“You should also ignore companies offering ‘free holidays’ as there is always a catch.”