How do I know if my travel booking is the real deal?

Scam travel websites that offer fake flight and hotel bookings and holiday packages are on the increase.

The bait is usually a flight or some other travel deal at an incredibly low price.

Cloning the websites of genuine travel providers and channelling responders – and payments – to a different address is another tactic that is proving fruitful for fraudsters.

Any payment you make will either turn out to be a long way short of the total price or you'll pay your cash, no booking confirmation will ever materialise and the fake online travel agency will evaporate.

If you search online travel agents for a price on a flight or a cruise and later receive an email saying you can have your trip for several hundred dollars less if you act now, that's a scam.

The safest place to book air travel is with the airline itself.

The same goes for hotel and all other travel bookings.

Book direct with whoever is providing the service, or with a travel agency with a physical presence and you can't go far wrong.