Woman Loses Rs 2.7 Crore While Booking Air Tickets: Never Do This!

Sheetal Bhalerao

Sheetal Bhalerao

Feb 16, 2024

Nowaday, airline ticket deals are quite common these days and we see many pop ups while browsing through the internet. 

Airline Ticket Fraud

We have also seen several airlines offering discounts on tickets as part of their special campaigns, festival or holiday deals and more. 

Woman Loses Rs 2.7 Crore While Booking Air Tickets: Never Do This!

While all this was going fine, the scammers started taking  advantage of these deals to dupe innocent travelers.

In one such incident on September 3, 2023,  Karnataka  victim, Jayasudha, received a Telegram link from a stranger on her phone.

The link had the details about the benefits of Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,600, if she booked air tickets through www.kiwiairfaresite.com.

Following the steps, she booked air tickets through the portal. 

It all went well as the company remitted monetary benefits to her bank account initially.  

Considering the experience, she booked more air tickets through the website between September 3, 2023 and January 12, 2024 where she spent Rs 2,77,52,153.

In this regard, a complaint has been registered as  Jayasudha neither received the said benefits nor refund on canceling the tickets, as per her complaint.

What is An Airline Ticket Scam ? 

Considering the increasing airline ticket frauds, Interpol has explained the entire Airline ticket scam and also shared tips to stay protected.

First of all let’s understand What is Airline ticket scam ? and how does it work?

Basically, it is a flight ticket related scam where criminals try to lure people by claiming to offer tickets at unbelievable prices via official looking websites or social networking platforms.

They ask for the immediate payment, usually bank transfer, virtual currencies and even cash. 

Next, they will use stolen credit cards to buy these tickets and then they also send these tickets to the targeted  person.

It turns lethal when the owner of the stolen credit card reports it to the bank then the ticket will get canceled.

Due to this, the airline will cancel your ticket and you will be stuck in the middle as you will not be able to travel and also lose your money.

How To Avoid It?

Prevention is the best cure, so if you observe that the ticket prices offered are significantly cheaper than the other options available then you better exercise some caution. 

Please be aware that the criminals may lure you by offering tempting bargains as in the background they might be planning to get profit from fraudulent schemes.

Another pattern we observe is the last-minute departure dates where fraudsters often sell fraudulently obtained tickets just a day or two before the flight.

This way, they attempt to exploit the time gap before the legitimate cardholder detects and cancels the fraudulent transaction. 

We should also keep an eye if requested to pay in cash or through a bank transfer because these payment methods provide little recourse in case of fraud, as the money disappears immediately.

You can verify the contact information if it is complete or not as if the travel agency’s website or social media account provides comprehensive contact details, including a physical address and a landline telephone number. 

If you find any discrepancy then you can ask for the legitimacy and certification of the travel agency before making any purchases.

How To Ensure A Safe Purchase?

Firstly, always opt for purchasing airline tickets directly from the airline or through a reputable travel agency certified by your country’s relevant authorities.

Next, go for secure online transactions by booking online tickets from websites equipped with secure payment systems, indicated by “https” at the beginning of the web address.

In case of going for any offers, go for a thorough research about the travel agency. 

You can also verify the legitimacy of their website by  exploring online reviews— both positive and negative—and confirm the availability of reliable contact options for addressing potential issues.

Last but not the least,  carefully review the terms and conditions where specifically focus on the refund policy and associated processes.

Sheetal Bhalerao
Sheetal Bhalerao
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