In lieu of saving a dollar or two on airline tickets, airline ticket websites could be flying away with more than just your money.
The internet is full of websites that contain good deals on airline tickets. Customers of such websites need to exercise caution. Some websites have reported deals that are simply too good to be true. Remember the old adage, "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, it probably is a duck." So watch out.
These websites attract patrons by slashing airline ticket prices offered elsewhere. They capture your personal information, including credit card number, expiration date, and CVV (credit card verification value, a security feature on credit cards) code. The customer then receives a message that says that the credit card transaction has been declined. Then there are directions on how to wire the money for payment of those tickets. Another variation of this illegal money making scheme has the website give you an error message at the end of the transaction signaling you that there was technical difficulty with instructions on how to pay for the ticket via money order. In reality, many reputable businesses would not do this.
We have compiled a small list of websites that employ these questionable business practices:
This website scam is essentially another form of phishing. It only differs from the conventional phishing scam in that the customer is the one who initiates the contact. The customer does this by performing an internet search for the lowest ticket prices. Finding crooked websites that rank high in the search results creates a false impression that these websites are honest and ethical. If you fall for this scam, the perpetrators will have won this game of deception by obtaining your credit card information, money that you wire transferred, and deposit account information.
These websites are only a few of the numerous crooked websites. The simplest way to avoid this consumer fraud scam is to patronize well known and trusted websites when conducting business online. This includes making travel arrangements.
There are lots of consumer fraud schemes out there. It is up to you, the consumer, to educate yourself to recognize what is and is not legitimate. Hopefully our advice will help you minimize becoming a victim of the crime of phishing.