Friday, October 26, 2007

Cheap Airline Tickets Fraud

I've received information for many months now on the proliferation of scams offered in public places where unscrupulous people openly offer cheap flights, domestic or international, to various destinations or discounted air fares.

Uninformed people will pay in cash but the miscreants will buy the plane tickets under the buyer's name using stolen credit card credentials online and pocket the cash they receive.

Upon check-in at the airport, presentation of the credit card used to purchase the tickets will be required for boarding and so the unknowing victim won't be able to board his flight.

Tips to guard against fraudsters and scam artists like these:

1. Purchase airline tickets online yourself or through a reputable travel agency.

2. Make sure names on the credit card and airline tickets match

3. The mode of payment on your e-ticket should always indicate cash if you paid for it in cash. If not, question the ticket issuer.

4. As always, my favorite advise to people: If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't true!

This is not unique to the Philippines but also present in other countries in Asia. I have yet to see ATM card payment options for various carriers like Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific, SeaAir, Asian Spirit and other budget airlines but this would become a reality also

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