Plane ticket fraud alarms police
POLICE from the Fraud and Corporate Crime Group have uncovered an airline ticketing scam they believe is highly sophisticated and capable of scamming even the most vigilant online shopper.
Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the Queensland State Crime Operations Command’s Fraud and Corporate Crime Group said the scam was very convincing and unlike anything they had seen before.
“While it is very encouraging members of the community are becoming more sceptical of ‘bargain one-off internet deals’ and ‘can’t miss’ opportunities, unfortunately this means offenders are becoming smarter and developing scams designed to trick even the most security conscious person,” he said.
Several websites advertising cheap flights have been identified as being involved in scamming victims, including www.cheapflightsonly.net, www.onlycheapflights.net and www.cheaper-flights.net.au. The most recent identified was www.flisave.com.
Det Supt Hay said the websites promised discounted flights and customers were asked to contact by email and a return email was sent with a list of flight options.
“What is enticing about these websites and may even serve to alleviate the fear many people have of shopping on these sites, is that payment is not requested until the tickets arrive from the airline.
“So the customer pops in their details and the tickets (that arrive) are in fact genuine tickets from a genuine airline. The customer can even ring the airline and confirm their seats. They then pay for the tickets and are set for their holiday.
"The offenders (use) stolen credit cards to purchase the legitimate tickets from the airline (and) once the airline realises the credit card used to buy the ticket is stolen, the ticket is cancelled. This is a warning to travellers to be aware sites like these are operating out there right now.”