British duo to face Web fraud charges

Over 3,000 U.K. citizens are suspected to have fallen victim to a scam involving holiday-related Web sites.
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Two people are to appear in court in London next week to face accusations that they attempted to defraud holidaymakers over the Internet.

Evangela Liogka, aged 38, and Christakis Philippou, aged 62, are both due to appear at City of Westminster magistrates court, charged with conspiracy to defraud. Both reside in London.

The couple were arrested on Saturday by Metropolitan Police, who were investigating a holiday Web site fraud. According to reports, over 3,000 U.K. citizens have fallen victim to a scam involving fraudulent Internet sites.

The Metropolitan Police wasn't able to give further details of the alleged offences, but it has published a warning that it is investigating five Web sites. These are www.sunmedresorts.com, www.unbeatableholidays.com, www.holidayrez.com, www.holidaysforunder200pounds.com and ww.holidayez.com. On Monday, only the last two sites were working.

It's understood that the Office of Fair Trading has been working with the Metropolitan Police on the investigation, after its Consumer Direct arm received several complaints from people who had paid for holidays that never materialized.

The Association of British Travel Agents has recommended that people check its own Web site or that of other affiliated organisations to make sure any holiday firm is legitimate before handing over money.

Earlier this summer, the Attorney General warned that UK police are failing to protect and support businesses and individuals who suffer Internet fraud, as many people don't even know how to report such a crime.

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