Gary Wilcox thought that he had taken every precaution when he booked a week in Lanzarote with his wife and two sons. But a sophisticated internet scam has robbed him and his family of their Canary Islands holiday.

Gary, the director of a logistics company, used online travel company to book the trip in April. The prices on offer were easily the cheapest he could find - £1,200 compared with £1,800 from other operators – but Gary wouldn't commit until he knew more.

Further research confirmed the hotel he picked from the site existed and suited his family's needs. A check on the ATOL – Air Travel Organisers' Licensing - website showed had applied for its licence.

Worried that he would not be fully protected by ATOL regulations without a full licence, Gary phoned the travel company using the number given on the site and was told special insurance arrangements had been made until a licence came through.

When insurance documents arrived in the post, Gary's concerns were laid to rest.

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