Travel agents have been targeted by a fraudster sending stolen cheques made out for large sums of money and requesting foreign currency.
ABTA has issued a warning to its members after Travel Weekly alerted the association to the fraud.
Edwin Doran Travel director Rosie Doran received a cheque for £10,000 with a letter asking for the equivalent in euros to be sent to an address in north London. She sent copies of the cheque to Prevention of Fraud in Travel group chairman Barry Gooch.
Doran said: “I couldn’t believe it when I received the cheque. I knew there must be something dodgy about it so I wanted to make sure other agents weren’t caught out.”
A large number of cheques have been reported stolen from Lullabies of Europe, an EU-funded initiative in Camden, north London. Executive director Joel Josephson confirmed about 100 cheques have been stolen and said other companies had been targeted by the fraudster.
ABTA head of finance Mike Monk said he hoped agents would not fall foul to the scam. “I would like to think people will know that this is not a normal transaction. If there is an unusual transaction, don’t do it unless you’ve carried out all the usual checks.
“It is thanks to Travel Weekly’s partnership with PROFiT that we are able to warn agents about these risks.”
ABTA is investigating the case and the police have confirmed a woman has been arrested and released on bail.
- More on fraud at travelweekly.co.uk/fraud
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