Police launch fraud probe after Disneyland trip organised by South Shields Facebook business falls through

Almost 100 people booked to go to Disneyland Paris through the Facebook business South Shields Day Trips.
Almost 100 people booked to go to Disneyland Paris through the Facebook business South Shields Day Trips.

Dozens of people have been left out of pocket after a Disneyland trip they booked through Facebook fell through at the last minute.

Stunned customers say they paid thousands of pounds for a four-day trip to Disneyland Paris with a Facebook business, South Shields Day Trips.

We have received a number of reports of possible fraud and inquiries are ongoing.

Northumbria Police

It is understood a large group of people were due to leave this morning and travel by coach and ferry to the popular family resort.

Northumbria Police have confirmed they are investigating a number of complaints.

Holidaymakers read a message posted on Facebook on Thursday saying the business was waiting to hear back from the hotel over why no record of the bookings could be found.

Yesterday another post informed holidaymakers of missing bookings and added that the firm had “been advised to cancel the trip and now head to the police station to find out where this large amount of money has apparently vanished to”.

The post added that the coach and ferry were still booked, however there were no rooms for the group to stay in.

Kerry Devenport says she handed over about £1,500 to go on the trip with 17 of her friends and family members.

The mother-of-two, of Simonside, South Shields, was set to travel to Disneyland this morning with her sons Jack, 13, and six-year-old Jayden, along with other family members and friends.

She said she had originally booked the trip over three days during the Easter holidays but, when it was cancelled, she was offered an extra day if she held on until July.

Now the 42-year-old, a dinnerlady at Valley View Primary School, in Jarrow, says she feels let down again.

She said: “I booked the trip originally because I’d seen other people had booked and I read through all the reviews and it seemed like an excellent offer.

“I spoke to people who had been on trips through the page as well and they all went ahead without any problems. I thought it would be fine.

“I had booked to go on the Polar Express at Christmas and that ended up being cancelled, but I thought it was a one-off.

“The trip to Paris looked like a really good deal.”

She added: “We’re just devastated, especially for the kids because they were so excited. Everyone was so excited to go away together.

“The coach and ferry is still booked but we’ve got nowhere to stay when we get there. We haven’t got the money to book anywhere else and buy entry into Disneyland.

“We’ve been told we can get a refund on our travel, but not the hotel. We don’t even know how much that is because we booked it as a package.

“I didn’t think anything would go wrong. Now I’m just devastated.”

The Gazette tried a number of times to contact the firm through the phone number listed on the South Shields Day Trips Facebook page but no one answered.

A furthern posting on the firm’s Facebook page last night detailed how it had made repeated bids to get to the bottom of the matter and had informed the police – and gave holidaymakers a police crime number.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “We have received a number of reports of possible fraud and inquiries are ongoing.”