Morairaway Scandal – Time for a bonding product ?
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Morairaway Scandal - Time for a bonding product ?

The Morairaway villa fraud in Spain

Police in Spain are investigating the case of Morairaway.com – a fraudulent villa rental company which advertised and took bookings for high end villas in Moraira, Javea about 80km north of Alicante. It seems many families from all over Europe have paid thousands of Euros for bookings with Moraira – for villas that have never even existed. The website has been taken down and there is now no way to get in contact with the “owners”. It seems as if the fraudsters used leading holiday home rental sites including holidaylettings.co.uk and holiday-rentals.co.uk to get initial leads for their properties and sent out receipts and booking confirmations containing arrival information.

What can people affected by the Morairaway.com fraud do now ?

Those that have booked with holiday-rentals may be covered by a rental guarantee which covers travellers for up to £3300 / €4000 that they may have paid to Morairaway or other fraudulent rental advertisers but not for flights, car-hire etc. To be eligible customers must have registered their booking for the scheme before they sent payment and they must have sent payment by credit card, PayPal, cheque or direct bank transfer.

People that have not booked through holiday-rentals or are not eligible for the guarantee should check with their banks / credit-card companies / paypal to see if they can reclaim any payments made to Morairaway. Customers should also seek alternative accommodation. Thanks to the publicity on this case I hope that some holiday companies will be offering deals for affected holidaymakers. We shall see.

The police station in Denia, from where the crime is being investigated can be reached on (00 34) 9 6578 3851

Questions raised by the Morairaway Case

How many more of these cases will come to light in the future, and on what scale ? Sad to say, but will there be copy cat crimes thanks to the publicity of this case ?

Is it time for the holiday home rental industry to develop an industry wide consumer protection system such as the rules governing package holidays (ATOL) and the leading bonding system for travel agencies (ABTA) ?

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