PUBLISHED: 13:29 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 May 2010
A FAMILY S hopes of a dream holiday turned into a nightmare after they fell victim to a scam. Mother of three Michelle Allen, of Ferrier Road in Stevenage, booked a holiday worth £1,545 in July through unbeatableholidays.com She had planned to take the
A FAMILY'S hopes of a dream holiday turned into a nightmare after they fell victim to a scam.
Mother of three Michelle Allen, of Ferrier Road in Stevenage, booked a holiday worth £1,545 in July through unbeatableholidays.com
She had planned to take the holiday, to Majorca, so her family could celebrate husband Stuart's 40th birthday.
But later when Mrs Allen phoned the company she discovered it had closed down and the staff had disappeared.
People up and down the country have been duped by the scam which is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.
Michelle, who took out a loan to pay for the holiday, said: "Daniel, my eldest, keeps asking what he has done wrong and why we aren't going away.
"This would have been our first holiday in three years. I think the people who started this scam don't realise what pressure this has put on our family.
"I feel sorry for our children. It has put an added strain on us. People don't realise what damage these scams cause."
Mrs Allen is angry about her bank's reaction to her situation:
"The bank has been awful. They say I have willingly given the cheque to the company so it is not fraud and they will not cover us. But in my opinion there wasn't a holiday at the end of it."
She warned other families to be careful when booking holidays.
"Check the website out before you book although the website we used looked official."
The Met Police inquiries focused on five websites trading under the names Fleetwood Holiday Ltd and Sun Orient Ltd, based in Islington, north London.
If you booked a holiday with any of these websites: www.sunmedresorts.com, www.unbeatableholidays.com, www.holidaysforunder200pounds.com, www.holidayrez.com and www.holidayez.com you should report the matter to the Met's Fraud Squad.
The websites have now been shut down.
The Association of British Travel Agents has warned people to be careful when buying holidays online.
* Two people have been charged after an investigation by the Met Police Fraud Squad into an online travel firm.