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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Caution: Online ‘Ghost Brokering’ Scam Targets Holidaymakers


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In the realm of online travel scams, the rise of ‘Ghost Brokering’ is causing alarm among holidaymakers. This sophisticated and deceitful fraud preys on unsuspecting travellers searching for deals, using tactics like fraudulent websites and sponsored ads.

Once personal information is provided, criminals contact victims through messaging services, convincing them to pay for a holiday that doesn’t exist.

As this scam gains prominence globally, it is imperative for holidaymakers to exercise caution and remain vigilant.

This article aims to shed light on the ghost brokering scam, provide tips to avoid falling victim, and offer expert recommendations for protection.

Definition and Description of Ghost Brokering Scam:

A ghost brokering scam refers to a fraudulent activity in the insurance industry. This scam involves individuals or organizations posing as legitimate insurance brokers, but in reality, they are unlicensed and unauthorized intermediaries. These "ghost brokers" offer insurance policies at discounted rates, targeting unsuspecting customers who are looking for affordable coverage.

The ghost brokering scam typically starts with the fraudster advertising their services online or through social media platforms. They may claim to have connections with reputable insurance companies or offer policies at significantly lower prices than the market rate. Once a customer shows interest, the ghost broker will request personal information and payment for the insurance policy.

However, the policies provided by ghost brokers are often fake

The ghost brokering scam, which targets holidaymakers searching for travel deals online, involves criminals using deceptive tactics to defraud unsuspecting individuals. These criminals create adverts that appear legitimate and lead victims to fake websites. Once on these sites, victims are asked to provide personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses.

Fraudsters then contact victims through messaging services like WhatsApp. After victims pay for a holiday, they receive a fake booking confirmation. The sophistication of these scams is evident as scammers use sponsored adverts to appear genuine and steal card and security details to book genuine holidays, which are then sold to others. As a result, victims not only lose the holiday they booked but are further defrauded.

AIB warns that these scams are on the rise globally, emphasising the importance of awareness and vigilance. By being cautious, verifying property existence and ownership, researching individuals and companies, checking bank accounts, and being aware of deals that seem too good to be true, holidaymakers can avoid falling victim to ghost brokering scams.

Sophistication of Ghost Brokering Scams

As the ghost brokering scams continue to target holidaymakers, their sophistication becomes increasingly apparent. Criminals are using sponsored adverts to make their fraudulent offerings appear genuine, luring unsuspecting victims into their trap. They are now going a step further by using stolen card and security details to book genuine holidays, which they then sell to others.

This not only leads to victims losing the holiday they thought they had booked but also further defrauds them. The rise of these scams is a global concern, with AIB warning holidaymakers to be cautious.

It is crucial for individuals to verify the existence and ownership of the properties they are booking and to conduct thorough research on the individuals and companies involved. By staying informed and vigilant, holidaymakers can protect themselves from falling prey to these increasingly sophisticated ghost brokering scams.

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to Ghost Brokering Scams:

  1. Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true. If an insurance offer is significantly cheaper than others, it could be a red flag for a ghost brokering scam.
  2. Verify the authenticity of the insurance broker or agent. Check if they are registered with the appropriate regulatory bodies, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
  3. Double-check the insurance policy details. Ensure that the policy documents include all the necessary information and are provided by a reputable insurance company.
  4. Avoid making payments in cash or through unconventional methods. Use secure payment options, such as credit cards or bank transfers, which provide a level of protection in case of

To avoid becoming a victim of ghost brokering scams, holidaymakers can follow these tips.

Firstly, it is crucial to confirm the existence and ownership of the property before making any bookings. Carry out extensive research on the individual and company to ensure their credibility.

Moreover, ensure that the bank account used for payment is based in the same country as the property. Look for a padlock symbol on secure and authentic websites to guarantee the protection of your personal information.

Be wary of deals that appear excessively good, as they might be a warning sign for fraudulent activity.

Importance of Awareness and Vigilance

Awareness and vigilance are crucial in protecting oneself from the growing threat of ghost brokering scams targeting holidaymakers online.

As highlighted by AIB, staying informed about the latest scams is essential for holidaymakers to safeguard themselves. Being vigilant can help in recognising red flags and avoiding falling victim to these fraudulent activities. It is important to report any incidents to the bank and local authorities, as this can aid in tracking down and stopping scammers.

Moreover, education and spreading awareness about ghost brokering scams can protect more people from becoming victims. AIB recommends conducting thorough research before making bookings, using trusted and reputable travel agencies or websites, and being cautious when sharing personal information online. Regularly checking bank statements for any suspicious activity is also advised.

Recommendations from AIB:

In view of the increasing threat of ghost brokering scams targeting holidaymakers online, AIB offers valuable advice to help individuals protect themselves from becoming victims of these fraudulent activities.

AIB advises conducting thorough research before making any bookings, ensuring the use of trusted and reputable travel agencies or websites.

It is essential to be cautious when sharing personal information online and regularly check bank statements for any suspicious activity.

AIB also stresses the importance of promptly reporting any fraudulent incidents to the bank and local authorities.

By following these recommendations, individuals can minimize their risk of falling prey to ghost brokering scams and safeguard their personal and financial information.

AIB’s proactive approach aims to empower holidaymakers and ensure their safety when booking holidays online.


In conclusion, the increase in online ‘ghost brokering’ scams aimed at holidaymakers is a growing concern that needs greater awareness and vigilance.

These advanced frauds target unsuspecting travellers by creating fake websites and using deceptive methods to steal personal and financial details.

To avoid becoming a victim, it is vital for holidaymakers to be cautious when making online bookings and to understand the risks connected to these scams.

By staying informed and taking necessary measures, individuals can safeguard themselves against such fraudulent activities.

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Owen is an excited writer with over 10 years of experience in the newspaper industry. Born and raised in Ireland, Owen developed a passion for writing and journalism at a young age. He pursued this passion by studying journalism in college and quickly landed a job as a reporter at a local newspaper. Over the years, Owen worked his way up the ranks in the newspaper industry, eventually becoming one of the top editors in the company.

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