Which? has warned against new scams and rip-offs offered by fraudsters as the travel industry reopens. 

The consumer watchdog says bogus companies are being set up offering fake refunds and imaginary flights. 

One scam, in particular, sees scammers using people who are waiting for refunds for cancelled holidays to gain money.

The Herald: Picture: PAPicture: PA

The scammers are known to cold-call travellers pretending to be travel agents, airlines and banks to gain bank details and personal information to process refunds. 

However, they use this information to steal money rather than issue a refund. 

The NHS has also been imitated by criminals wanting to gain personal information by sending a link via email for what looks like a digital vaccine passport. 

The Herald: NHS apps are being targeted (PA)NHS apps are being targeted (PA)

Editor of Which? Travel Rory Boland said: “Criminals are exploiting the pandemic and the demand for holidays in a wide range of ways, laying new traps to trick unsuspecting travellers out of their money.

“Our advice for consumers is be wary of unsolicited calls and messages, and be cautious about holiday deals from unfamiliar firms.

“If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, you should report this to Action Fraud and your bank.

"Anyone who is struggling to get their money back from their bank should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to review their case.”

Some scammers are using detailed steps to be more believable, including spoofing legitimate phone numbers and finding out booking details. 

Other scam companies are offering fake flights and using adverts on social media to draw people in. 

Covid and Brexit are also reasons why people are being exploited when it comes to holidays.

Some firms are charged up to £75 for passenger locator forms, which are offered for free by the government. 

Others are charging for the Global Health Insurance Card, which is also free and brought in after Brexit to replace the European Health Insurance Card.

Driving permits for Spain are sold by some companies for £36.25 when it costs just £5.50 from the Post Office.