Mum on benefits who scrimped and scraped to save for holiday discovers she is victim of scam
A TAMWORTH mum has had to tell her four small children that there will be no seaside trip for them this year, after falling victim to a cruel con.
Fiona Barker (28) , a single mum from Amington, was alerted to a holiday deal through a friend who had spotted it on the social networking site Facebook.
She agreed to pay £135 for a five-day break at what she was told was a Haven site in Skegness and after scrimping and saving, managed to pay the cash in installments in to a bank account as required.
She had even started saving for holiday clothes for seven-year-old Teya, six-year-old Jayden, four-year-old Siena and baby Alexia.
But then she discovered that the whole site was a hoax and she has lost all the money.
She told the Herald: "My friend put me in touch with a caravan hire site on Facebook. I messaged the people and they gave me a quote of £135 for a Monday to Friday break at a Haven campsite in Skegness.
"They gave me some bank account details and I paid in installments – but then at the weekend, I discovered it was all a scam.
"I have had to tell the children that there will be no holiday for them this year and they are really upset – they had been looking forward to it so much and I had saved so hard for it since Christmas.
"Whenever I got my benefits I would pay all the essentials like gas and electricity and food, then if there was a little spare cash I put it towards the holiday.
"At first I was really angry when I found out it was a con, I couldn't believe it. I now feel really stupid – I should have realised it was too good to be true. I have reported it to the police and I just want other people to be aware."
Chief Inspector Ian Coxhead said: "We are investigating this incident. Our advice is that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is."
A spokesman for Haven said: "We were very sorry to hear of your reader's experience and concerned that someone is trying to impersonate our brand which we will be investigating.
"We would like to stress that when booking a Haven holiday this should always be done via www.haven.com or calling us direct on 0871 230 1900.
"We do work with some third parties and travel agents but these would always direct you to our official website."