The Metropolitan police are investigating a travel agent who is accused of scamming at least 32 customers.

Customers of Hayley King’s London-based Around the World Travel business lost an average of £3,000 each.

They said they turned up to their hotel to find there was no booking.

She set-up as a travel agent five years ago, offering discounted flights and hotels but a BBC report claims the business model suggested King was using a pyramid-style selling scheme to book the holidays.

Those who booked with Ms King early did get prices lower than the market rate but newer customers who thought they were getting discounted deals were actually paying for other people’s flights and hotels.

Zoe Smith lost £5,000 after paying King for a holiday to Dubai. She received a booking reference but when she tried to check-in her details had disappeared.

Smith said she was could not reach King, who she discovered had booked a flexible ticket which allowed her to cancel the booking at the last minute and claim a refund for herself.

King’s business collapsed in April and her customers have been unable to contact her, with some reporting her to the Metropolitan Police.

The force said: “Detectives from the Met’s Economic Crime Unit are investigating an allegation of fraud relating to an individual taking payment for travel bookings which fail to materialise.”

The BBC reported King was understood to be abroad and could not be reached for comment.