A family who booked a luxury villa for their first holiday in over a decade were shocked to find out they had been scammed when they touched down in Spain.

Neil and Hannah Bray had been excited to book the £1,800 villa with a sauna and jacuzzi in Alicante for them and their four children.

However, after forking out £1,800 for flights from Gatwick, the family of six touched down in Europe in July to find that their dream accommodation was too good to be true.

Neil, 42, said: "The villa looked amazing - it had a swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and it was large.

The Argus: Parents Neil and Hannah with children Nikolas, far left, Felicity, left, Leyton, right, and BellaParents Neil and Hannah with children Nikolas, far left, Felicity, left, Leyton, right, and Bella (Image: SWNS)

"It was a wonderful four-bed property with plenty of space.

"I spoke to the guy around a week before and I was saying how much we were looking forward to going on holiday.


"He was suggesting places to eat and drink and telling me how nice the weather was out there.”

The Bexhill family, including children Nikolas, 17, Felicity, 15, Leyton, nine, and Bella, 8, were told that they would be picked up from the airport having paid a deposit of €180 for the villa with the rest to be paid on arrival.

However, bank manager Neil and support worker Hannah, 38, and family found themselves stranded after the person who advertised the villa did not turn up and could not be reached.

As it transpired, the pictures of the villa had been stolen from an advert selling the property and it was not actually for rental.

The Argus: Hannah and Leyton waiting outside the airportHannah and Leyton waiting outside the airport (Image: SWNS)

The family frantically arranged an alternative villa, taxi and car hire which meant their holiday set them back over €3,000 in the end, not including the flights. The villa cost £1,500 more than they had originally planned to spend.

Neil added: "For us, it wasn’t that he scammed us for lots of money - the deposit was €180.

"It was the stress and worry of arriving having nothing and spending an additional €1,500 to just be able to stay somewhere.

"This ate into a lot of our spending money, and we had to resort to a fairly low-key holiday.

"I feel so stupid, it has affected my well-being and mental health - I feel so ridiculous.

"We have just been focusing on making the most of the trip for the children."