CUMBRIA Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Peter McCall is urging residents looking to book holidays online to remain vigilant against scams.

As COVID-19 restrictions around flying and travelling abroad lift or lessen, many of us will be heading online to book a holiday. However, cyber-criminals can create fake but realistic websites and emails offering deals to scam trusting members of the public.

Travel scams can present themselves in different forms such as fake websites selling fake tickets for flights or lodgings that do not exist and fake competitions defrauding people out of fees to secure a holiday.

Mr McCall said: “Technology has given us all the ability to book a full holiday from the comfort of our own home.

“However, it does come with risks. Cyber-criminals are experts at creating realistic websites, social media pages and emails pretending to offer too-good-to-be-true deals on holidays to scam trusting individuals out of their hard-earned money.

“It is so important, when conducting anything online, to double-check that what we are buying or signing up for is legitimate.

“Tips such as doing an independent Google search on the company and never giving your bank details over social media or email are easy ways to avoid being scammed.

“For more tips, anyone can visit, an organisation dedicated to keeping everyone safe online by providing information and advice on a wide range of topics including holiday scams.

“If you have been the victim of holiday fraud report it to the Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”