OTA says fraudsters are contacting customers posing as its staff
Love Holidays customers targeted by scammers claiming to be processing refunds
Online travel agency Love Holidays is warning customers that fraudulent callers are posing as staff.
A message on its Facebook page says: “We have been informed that fake callers posing as Love Holidays representatives have been targeting our customers and asking them to provide bank details in order to pay a £25 refund processing fee.
“These are not legitimate calls: we will never ask for bank details over the phone or ask you to pay a refund fee.
“If you receive one of these calls, please do not provide your details and report this fraudulent call to the police.”
The post has received more than 2,000 comments from customers.
The message links to the FAQ section on the Love Holidays website, which adds more detail.
It says: “We urge all customers to be vigilant for such activity to ensure that they do not fall victim to such behaviour. If you are uncertain that the person contacting you is from love Holidays, please end the conversation with them and get in touch with love Holidays through our official contact channels on this site.
“Be vigilant for phishing emails. All of our emails are sent from @loveholidays.com.”
A Love Holidays spokesperson said: “We became aware of this scam on social media and from a couple of customers who have advised us that they have received scam calls.
“We have warned customers to be cautious with their personal details on social media as we want to ensure that they don’t fall prey to a call from a scammer.
“We have reported this to Action Fraud and recommend that customers who receive such calls also do so.”
Separately, Love Holidays also said it is “rapidly accelerating” hotel and transfer refunds, amid a raft of complaints from consumers about delays.
The OTA said it has so far actioned refund requests totalling more than £47 million, excluding the cost of refunds from airlines.
Martin Lewis, founder of the Moneysavingexpert.com website, has written about the online travel agency, saying “Love Holidays customers complain of refund hell”.
He wrote: “The name Love Holidays has become a scourge of many travellers during the pandemic, as droves of customers are still in the dark about their refunds.
“The firm sits alongside Virgin and Ryanair as the big names with the worst feedback for refunds.
“In our 70 best and worst firms for travel refunds survey, it had a net rating of -81, and just 4% of Love Holidays customers whose holiday had been cancelled and who responded to our survey said they’d received a full refund (though the firm says it has refunded over 25% of affected customers).”
A Love Holidays spokesperson said: “We are rapidly accelerating hotel and transfer refunds – currently moving payment dates to a four-week timeframe from the refund request and we are working towards delivering a two-week timeframe which we aim to have in place next week.
“We are also streamlining the refund process so that customers can submit their refund requests online only.
“We are refunding land elements, with flight refunds to follow when received from the airlines.
“This is because airlines are all operating to different refund policies and timelines.
“When we receive cash refunds from airlines, we are committed to passing these on to our customers within a maximum of five working days.”
It has also contacted more than 20,000 customers with refund credit notes due to expire at the end of July to bring forward their refund payments (excluding flights) and the majority of these have been refunded.
The spokesperson added: “We do have some challenges with customers whose credit cards have been cancelled or have expired (representing approximately 10% of those whose refunds we have tried to action to date) and which therefore require a manual process to resolve and would like to encourage customers to ensure they have provided updated payment information via the secure Manage My Booking section on our website.
“We are also putting a team in place to assist with these payments that cannot be automated due to these credit card issues.”