Fraudsters use stolen details to make bogus Thomas Cook refund claims

A grounded Thomas Cook jet
Genuine victims' details hijacked by scammers Credit:  Phil Noble/ REUTERS

Thomas Cook customers should beware fraudsters who are already using stolen information to submit fake claims, the airline regulator has warned.

Scammers have been harvesting genuine claimants’ information by cold calls and websites pretending to offer help with handling refunds. 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) set up a refund website on Monday, and has warned that this information is already being submitted by criminals posing as real victims.

Thomas Cook went into liquidation in late September, and the CAA is expecting claims from 360,000 former customers.

A CAA spokesman said it had “taken urgent action in response to what we believe is attempted fraudulent activity in relation to refunds for Thomas Cook customers”.

To avoid being scammed, the regulator urged customers to only make claims directly through its website,

“Please help us to combat the risk of fraud by not submitting your details to any other website,” the spokesman added.

The CAA has seen large numbers of claims for both very small and extremely large sums of money, which it said is a sign of probable fraud.

It will take up to two months before a claim is paid out by the CAA.

The CAA also ran the operation to return stranded holidaymakers who were overseas when Thomas Cook failed. “Operation Matterhorn”, was the biggest peacetime repatriation in British history.