Instead of saving money on tickets scam airline web sites could end up robbing you two different ways
The internet is a great place to find good deals on airline tickets. Consumers need to use caution, however, as there are several sites offering deals too good to be true. Take them up on the deal and your dream vacation may be ruined when the bargain rate tickets fail to arrive. Remember, if it seems to good to be true, it most likely is.
How Travel Phishing Scams Work
These sites attract customers by undercutting airline ticket prices offered elsewhere (by the airlines for instance). They capture your credit card information, including account number, expiration date, and CVV (an anti-fraud security feature on credit cards).
The customer then receives a message telling them that the credit card transaction has been declined, followed by instructions to wire funds for payment of the tickets. Another version of this scam has the web site giving you an error message at the end of the transaction alerting you that there was a technical problem with instructions on how to pay for the ticket by postal money order.
Does this sound like the way a reputable business would do things?
There are many more sites like these out there so consider these a tiny sample of sites to avoid!
This scam is basically a form of phishing, but it differs from the “normal” phishing scam in that it is the customer that initiates the contact. The customer does this by doing a web search for the best airline ticket prices. Finding the corrupt sites through a web search creates a false impression that the sites are legitimate.
If you fall for this scam, the crooks will have succeeded in obtaining your credit card information, money that you have wired, and deposit account information (origin of wire transfer).
The sites listed above are but a few of many such scam sites. The easiest way to avoid consumer scams like this are to use only known and trusted web sites when conducting business online, including making travel arrangements.