Wise - Beware the Booking: Holiday Scams Awareness

Campaign Overview:

Wise, in collaboration with travel expert Nicky Kelvin from The Points Guy UK, launched a significant public relations campaign titled “Beware the Booking: Holiday Scams Awareness.” This campaign was aimed at addressing the rising concern of holiday scams in the UK, particularly those offering too-good-to-be-true travel deals during the festive season. By leveraging the latest data and expert analysis, the initiative sought to enlighten the public about the dangers of such scams and to promote smarter, safer travel planning practices.


In the context of increasing reports of deceptive travel deals and the festive season’s approach, a time when many UK residents plan their holidays, there was an identified need to educate the public about these scams. With the allure of attractive travel offers, many individuals were at risk of falling victim to scams, leading to financial losses and compromised personal information. The campaign’s timing was critical, aiming to preempt the festive season’s surge in scam activities.

Key Findings:

  • High Prevalence of Scams: Approximately 30% of UK residents encounter travel deals that seem too good to be true, indicating a widespread issue.
  • Consumer Risk-Taking: Despite potential risks, 14% of consumers book these dubious deals, showing a concerning trend of risk-taking.
  • Underestimation of Risk: Only 19% of the population believes they are susceptible to scams, highlighting a significant underestimation of the threat.
  • Adoption of Preventative Measures: In response to scam risks, 29% trust reputable booking platforms, and 28% avoid booking accommodations altogether.

Strategic Media Outreach:

The campaign strategically engaged with a broad spectrum of media outlets to ensure comprehensive coverage and reach:

  • National Exposure: Features on high-profile platforms such as BBC Radio and Sky News Radio provided the campaign with a national audience, emphasizing the urgency of scam awareness.
  • Regional Depth: Collaboration with BBC Regional Stations and local radio channels ensured that the message was tailored and relevant to various demographics, significantly enhancing local engagement and awareness.

Impact and Effectiveness:

The “Beware the Booking: Holiday Scams Awareness” campaign successfully heightened public awareness about the reality and dangers of holiday scams. It drove a nationwide conversation on the importance of being vigilant when planning travel, encouraging UK residents to adopt more cautious and informed booking practices. Through widespread media engagement, the campaign played a crucial role in educating the public, potentially reducing the number of scam victims.

Discussion Points:

  • The campaign spotlighted the essential role of financial education and awareness in combating scams, as evidenced by the general public’s lack of awareness regarding scam risks.
  • It brought to the forefront the impact of scam awareness on consumer behaviour, with a focus on the importance of using reputable booking platforms and verifying the legitimacy of travel deals.
  • The initiative underscored the evolving landscape of travel planning, emphasizing the shift towards digital platforms and the critical need for secure, scam-aware practices in the digital age.