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Online booking risk to holidays

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Wise holidaymakers know going away without travel insurance is a bad idea, but booking holidays online has added to the potential of a bargain 'dream holiday' turning into a nightmare, according to a poll.

Almost a third (30%) of people who book online do not confirm the authenticity of their travel providers, a study by travel organisation Abta and the Government-supported group GetSafeOnline.org has found.

More than one in five (22%) fail to check if their web page is secure when booking, while more than a third (36%) do not track and check the payments on bank or credit card statements after making a booking.

Of the 1,000 adults polled, 22% said they have been contacted with holiday deals or villa rentals via unsolicited emails, phone calls or text messages from people or organisations they did not know.

GetSafeOnline.org managing director Tony Neate said: "When we've been working hard the rest of the year, for most people, making sure we have a great summer holiday is really important."

"Fraudsters recognise this and play on people's desires - we get caught up in the excitement of a 'bargain dream holiday' and cautiousness goes out the window."

© Press Association 2010