Scottish agent has online identity hijacked

A Scottish agency which had its online identity hijacked has warned of fraudsters targeting the sector as more than 70 bogus websites imitated travel companies in the past year.

The Travel Bar, in Blairgowrie, started to receive calls from consumers who believed they had booked with the business but had in fact paid money to a fake agency calling itself ‘The Travels Bar’.

The scammers conned holidaymakers out of thousands of pounds, using the Perthshire agency’s bricks-and-mortar address and Atol number.

Owner and director Brenda McCready said: “It’s soul-destroying when you get a call from someone who thinks they have booked with you but haven’t.

“We’ve taken our website down, as our identity has been stolen.”

A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said: “The fake business is conning people out of thousands of pounds.”

Barry Gooch, chairman of Prevention of Fraud in Travel (Profit), said: “There is a growing problem with fraudsters copying legitimate companies’ websites.

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