Fraudsters target Thomas Cook holiday refund site - here’s how to stay safe

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 10:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 1:16 pm

Fraudsters are targeting the website set up to help Thomas Cook customers claim refunds for their cancelled holidays, the Civil Aviation Authority has warned.

The aviation regulator has said that it is taking ‘urgent action’ to prevent people from being scammed and has notified the police.

It also said that further verification checks have been added to the refund process to protect customers.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is administering refunds from the Atol travel fund, an insurance levy taken from travel firms which protects consumers.

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However a series of low-level claims have indicated that fraud might be taking place, the CAA has said.

A number of potentially fraudulent claims

It also highlighted that fraudulent websites had been set up to scam customers after their money back; an issue highlighted by Which? last week.

It made it clear that customers must only use the official website here to make their refund claims.

The refunds website for Thomas Cook holidays protected by Atol went live on Monday, and more than 100,000 claims have been made since.

Claims are expected for refunds on more than 360,000 bookings made by 800,000 people.

Can you still get a refund?

Atol entitles customers flying from the UK to a full refund if a travel company they have booked through collapses or closes down.

Customers who were on holiday at the time of the collapse can also claim for the cost of replacing the Atol protected parts of their tripand for expenses that came as a result of cancelled flights.

The CAA has pledged to have the refunds paid within 60 days, and more than 24,000 direct debit repayments are already in progress. All automatic direct debit refunds are on track to be returned to customers from 14 October.

Filling out the form is the only way that the refunds can be requested, so anybody who has already contacted CAA will need to claim again using the form.

Richard Moriarty, chief executive at the CAA, previously said, “We know that customers are devastated by the cancellation of their holidays. Those who bought a Thomas Cook Atol protected holiday are entitled to a full refund of all the money they have paid towards the cost of their holiday.

“In addition to this, Atol protected passengers that were abroad when the company went into liquidation might be able to claim for out of pocket expenses.

“The sheer number of refunds means this will be the largest ever Atol reimbursement programme. The CAA is working around the clock with our partners so that customers receive their refunds as quickly as possible.”