I booked dream £2.6K family holiday to Majorca but we got a nasty shock when we arrived – and the worst was yet to come | The Sun

LANDING in Majorca in 2019, Angus Kennedy was excited to be whisked off to his dream holiday villa.

But he and this then-wife and five children had a nasty shock in store – as they family were victims of an elaborate scam.

The villa Angus had shelled out nearly three grand for had never been listed as a holiday let. Instead, pictures of it had been stolen and shared on a bogus holiday company's website.

As the reality of the family's plight sank in, it became clear the Spanish Easter break they'd envisioned had turned into the holiday from hell, as they were now stranded thousands of miles from home.

Describing the excruciating moment in a new Channel 5 documentary, Holiday Scams: Don't Get Caught Out, Angus recalls: "[The kids] were not happy at the time. It was horrendous."

He adds: "It looked brilliant. It had everything one would normally have, like deposits, advice on this, and arrivals and special packages. It was all there.


I worked on Magaluf’s wildest bar crawl & can lift lid on what REALLY happens

Brit left £15k out of pocket after making very simple mistake on holiday

"Everything you’d expect for one of these sites. And it was very convincing. They were asking almost straight away for a deposit by bank transfer.” 

Angus, who is in his mid-50s, forked out £2,600 to stay at the stunning seven-bed villa for a week – £50 per person per night.

The villa was advertised as equipped with a swimming pool and ample space for the family to relax and enjoy their stay.

But the website Angus used to pay for the holiday – dreamvillasspain.com – was later revealed to be fake, despite looking legitimate.

Most read in Travel


I filmed tourists reserving loungers for whole WEEK in worst pool war I’ve seen


Tallest rollercoaster in the world forced to close indefinitely


The Irish beach that made Lonely Planet's most stunning in Europe list


Smallest city in the UK where you can walk everywhere – and has amazing beaches

Despite appearing too good to be true, Angus, seen with one of his daughters went ahead to book the villaCredit: JIM BENNETT
The stunning seven-bedroom villa came with a swimming pool and many luxurious features, according to the dodgy websiteCredit: dreamvillasspain.com

Although Angus initially thought the deal looked too good to be true, he failed to make some vital checks, admitting: "I was so busy.

"You know when you're really busy and you just need the holiday and can't wait to go. It was just the time of year – there was so much going on."

The package also said it included airport pick-up, which never happened.

You know when you're really busy and you just need the holiday and can't wait to go. It was just the time of year – there was so much going on

"We had come through the customs and all the other people were getting picked up with the signs," he says.

"We were expecting to see a sign for Kennedy or something like that. Nothing."

Determined not to let it spoil their trip, Angus set out on a mission to locate the villa.

He explains: "Luckily I got my phone out and I got a photo of this villa and I thought, ‘We’re going on holiday’.

"I went around every single taxi driver saying, 'Here’s the house. Do you recognise this address?' then about 14 minutes later I found a taxi driver who said, 'I know that house. I took someone there last week.'” 

Nasty shock

When the family arrived at the villa it was exactly how it looked in the photograph, and they knocked on the door.

"Someone opens the door and so it's like, fantastic," Angus recalls.

"And there was this moment where he didn't say anything, I didn't say anything and I just said, 'We are here on holiday.'

"He was about to close the door but luckily I got the photograph and asked, 'Is this your house?' and he just looked and said, 'You better come in.'"

Once inside the owner explained he was a German national – and this wasn't the first time people had turned up at his house expecting to stay.

Fortunately for the family, the owner of the property took pity on them and showed them some much-needed kindness.

Angus says: "He said, 'Why don’t you stay the night, we’ll put you up for the night and have some dinner. And we’ll have a glass of wine together and we had the most amazing evening together as well'. It was so weird.” 

For the rest of their stay in Majorca the family had to cough up an additional £2,000 to rent a flat for the week.

'International scam'

After a team of experts investigated the address of the travel agent, they discovered their so-called headquarters was off a motorway on an abandoned road.

Angus said: "It was a holiday from hell. This is an international scam. But the Majorcan people were lovely, I’ve never had so many kind offers.

"Why won’t the Government shut down these sites? These crooks are just going to get away with it for years."

Angus hoped to get his money back, along with some justice, and lodged several complaints.

He reported the case to his bank, his insurance company and the authorities in Spain, but his efforts proved futile.

He now believes he stands no chance of ever getting his money back.

Scams on the rise

Every year Brits spend billions of pounds on visits abroad – making holiday scams appealing to fraudsters.

From 2021 to 2022, Action Fraud received reports of more than 2,244 travel-related scam cases – and the figures continue to soar as scammers target Brits desperate for a holiday.

Victims end up losing an average of £1,868, according to the report.

There are a number of ways holidaymakers can protect themselves from becoming victims.

One is making sure they are not pressured by an agent into making any bookings.

Carefully studying a website's address can also help to reveal whether it's a scam.

Read more on The Sun

What happened to UK’s youngest parents including mum who gave birth at 12

Driver warning as errors can result in £2,500 fines during wedding season

These often copy the websites of legit websites but use tricks such as removing a letter from the address.

Avoiding the temptation to click on emails promising holiday deals that are too good to be true, and ignoring social media offers from unverified organisations, can also help you avoid being scammed.

Source: Read Full Article

Previous post Katie Price and ex Peter Andre unite for son Juniors birthday
Next post Hilarious footage shows tourists queuing for sun beds at 7am before sprinting to best spots at Greek resort | The Sun