Saturday, 30 August 2014
Holiday villa fraud that's hit countless British families
Chris and Annia Pegg were thrilled when they found a beautiful villa in the South of France (pictured centre) for their annual two-week break with daughters Jessica, nine, and Emily, seven (pictured together left).
But the couple were devastated to find that the £1,650 they thought they had paid to the villa's owner via website Owners Direct had in fact gone to a fraudster. Thankfully the Peggs, who lost £1,000 in the online scam, were still able to afford to go on holiday - to a pretty French farmhouse (pictured right) that they also booked through the popular website. But the Peggs are not alone. It is thought hackers may have stolen more than £25million from holidaymakers - hundreds or even thousands believed to be British - in the past five years. And victims believe that police are doing little about the widespread problem.