As the British public prepares for a long-awaited summer of festivals and holidays, scammers are several steps ahead in their endless effort to profit off consumers’ behavior.

With lockdown restrictions slowly and steadily ending, many citizens are keen on booking a vacation or outdoor event. Fraudsters are taking advantage of high demand for festival tickets by setting up fake advertisements to promote low prices or sold-out events. Additionally, some scammers are charging consumers for the free, government-issued Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), while others pitch fake vaccine certificates.

“When travelling in the EU, people can access emergency and medical care with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC),” the alert reads. “This card has replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) however criminals are capitalizing on this new card to commit fraud, asking victims for payment details when the GHIC is free. They are advertising these cards on fake websites that look like that of the NHS. The sites claim to either fast-track or manage your application process before charging you an up-front fee.”

Scammers impersonating popular and trusted organizations, including travel and hospitality agencies, may reach their victims via email, phone calls, fake websites, and social media posts or messages.

Users should follow the recommendations of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to stay safe:

  • Be doubtful of too-good-to-be-true offers and prices
  • Choose a trustworthy and well-known travel company or website when booking your holiday itinerary and accommodation
  • Don’t access links you receive via email, SMS or social media to book your vacation or festival tickets. Open your browser instead and search for the website.
  • Never pay for your accommodation or outdoor activities tickets via wire transfers. Use a secure payment option that will allow you to dispute any fraudulent transactions
  • Be vigilant of any celebrity endorsements and research before purchasing tickets