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Fraud Prevention—The Latest Airline Rebooking Scams


Do you have a ticket to nowhere?

It’s October and the time when most of us begin planning our holiday travel. Sadly, scammers are planning their latest nefarious schemes as well.

By now we’ve seen news clips showing the chaos at airports all over the country. Over-booked flights and airline staff shortages are leading to massive flight cancellations and hours long wait times to board a plane. This may well be a sign of the times, but that won’t help you feel any better when you learn your flight was cancelled. Airline travelers need to be aware scammers are exploiting this bizarre time to enrich themselves with your money.

According to the Better Business Bureau, their Scam Tracker “has received multiple reports of scammers creating fake airline ticket booking sites or customer service numbers to charge travelers for rescheduling fake flights.” It’s an abysmal scenario for travelers, but a great one for scammers.

However, beating the airline scams may be as simple as following some basic tips when booking your next airline ticket.

Rebooking Scam: How it’s Done

These criminals are known to use variations on the scams, but all ultimately separate travelers from their money. They send texts, emails or phone calls saying your flight was cancelled. But lucky for you, they can help find another flight for an additional booking fee. Travelers, especially those already at the airport, gladly believe it and pay-up with their card and PII (personally identifiable information). The phone number given isn’t for the airline, but instead is for the scammer who answers, pretending that they are from the airline.

And at a point that’s always too late, you learn the phone calls, texts, and emails were all fake, and the scammer now has your payment card, money, and PII. Even worse, you find your rebooked flight never existed, and your original flight was never cancelled to begin with.

Beating the Airline Scams

Below are a few tips to keep in mind when booking your next airline ticket:

Following these tips can help avoid losing time and money to airline scammers. Happy trails!

Want to know more? Read additional Mid Oregon blog articles about online security and fraud protection.

Content based on an article by Stickley on Security

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