2008 News Archive - Holidays - OFT exposes holiday scams with bogus scratch cards

12 11 2008

Tourists heading off to soak up some winter sun this Christmas may be surprised to find themselves apparently 'winning' holidays on scratch cards - courtesy of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The scheme, which will see OFT officers disguised as reps handing out scratch cards in UK airports, is designed to publicise holiday scratch card scams run by bogus tour operators.

Brits are cheated out of thousands of pounds a year when they sign up for bogus holiday clubs after 'winning' holidays on scratch cards, according to the OFT's "scambusters".

The OFT warns that a scratch card winners prize is usually a trip to a lengthy sales presentation where they are conned into paying thousands of pounds for membership of a bogus holiday club.

According to the OFT, holiday makers who fall victim to the scam lose an average of £3,030.

Mike Haley, the office's director of consumer protection, said: "Bogus holiday clubs ruin thousands of holidays every year leaving holidaymakers with large bills for near worthless holiday club memberships."

The Office of Fair Trading was established in 1973 with the aim of "thwarting deceptive and coercive trading practices."

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