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Two charged over online “holiday” fraud

Tash Shifrin

Two people have been charged after a Fraud Squad investigation into an online travel company.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that two people had been charged and warned holiday makers to be alert to online fraudsters. Police inquiries have focused on five websites trading under the names Fleetwood Holiday Ltd or Sun Orient Ltd, based in Islington, north London.

The scam – in which holidaymakers are sold non-existent holidays and robbed of their money – is understood to have hit nearly 3,000 people.

The police are urging holidaymakers who booked with five online travel websites to report the matter to the Fraud Squad. Those who may have been affected are also urged to contact their credit card firm to discuss whether their cards should be cancelled.

The five websites are: sunmedresorts.com, unbeatableholidays.com, holidaysforunder200pounds.com, holidayrez.com and holidayez.com.

Last month the attorney general Lord Goldsmith published a series proposals aimed at making it easier to report online fraud, including the establishment of a National Fraud Strategic Authority and the creation of a National Fraud Reporting Centre based in a lead police force.

The recommendations came in a report that warned that victims of online fraud were often confused where to report scams, particularly if the fraud crossed geographical or sectoral boundaries.

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