Organised Crime Gangs

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Organised Crime Gangs

Organised Crime Gangs or OCG`s are groups of individuals systematically committing fraud. Such groups are abundant within the UK and there are many groups operating within the UK travel industry.

So why are OCG`s targeting the UK travel industry? Quite simply we are an easy target, aside from mortgage repayments and travel expenses money spent on holidays represent one of the highest outgoings for UK households. The majority of holidays booked will be in the region of 12 weeks before departure so we are more than happy to make full payment for a holiday and all we receive is a email or a bit of paper confirming our annual two weeks in the sun has been booked.

So how does the fraud occur?

Request for further payment – In this case the chances are you have booked your holiday at a hugely discounted price. When you request further information from the agent about your travel arrangements you are told you have to pay further money to get the information you require. If you don’t pay the additional money you will not be given the further information to go on holiday, therefore you have no option but to make further payments.

Unable to contact the agent – Probably the most common type of fraud operated by OCG`s. Simply a fake agency is set up for the single purpose of taking customers money and not providing any type of travel arrangements.

Agent making booking on a stolen card – A form of fraud that is on the increase, in this case the agency appears to be legitimate and is more often than not providing travel arrangements at the price originally agreed, but when purchasing flights and accommodation the agent is paying for them on stolen credit cards, so they are selling travel arrangements that is costing them nothing to provide.

So what are the Police doing? In conjunction with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau PROFiT is mapping organised crime gangs and passing them on to the Police for analysis and investigation. If you believe your organisation is being targeted by an organised crime gang please get in contact.