Authority figures are now warning people about fake airline ticket scams. If the deal sounds like it is too good to be true, it probably is. However, with so many people looking for great travel deals, the amount of scams people are reporting is on the rise. On top of that, the amount of scams that people are actually falling for is rising as well. So far, people are saying they are receiving scams both via email and regular mail.
On Thursday, the Gloucester County Consumer Affairs and Prosecutor’s office said that people need to be on the lookout for scams. This goes double for photocopied checks that are sent in the mail. Most of these scams offer people the chance to exchange the photocopied check for tickets.
Even the Better Business Bureau has been warning people about these scams. Just last July, the group sent out a scam alert warning people of phishing schemes. For those who don’t know, a phishing scheme is typically a method used by thieves in order to obtain sensitive information from people. The information that they are looking for usually varies, but it can be anything from user names and passwords to bank account information. Usually the phishing sites come off looking like legitimate businesses or organizations, but actually they are fronts that thieves have set up to steal information.
The Prosecutor’s Office spokesman, Bernie Weisenfeld, said that he recently met with a consumer who received a very official-looking check for the amount of $1,350. The check had the logo of “U.S. Airlines” printed on it. However, if people stop and think, that company doesn’t even exist. There are a U.S Airways and an American Airlines, but people get easily mislead; and thieves are playing off that.
Usually these scam tickets come with letters telling people that the offer is only good for a limited amount of time. They do this to get people to make a rash choice that they normally would not make. The victims are quick to jump on deals like this, because they want to save money.
Although airline scams are on the rise, they are not the only scams that travelers need to watch out for. Hotel, car rental and even tickets for theme parks can all be used to scam people out of their money. Take hotels, for example. A lot of times people book a room with a “hotel chain,” only to find out later that they actually didn’t book anything. By the time the consumer finds out that they did not book a hotel room, they are already on their vacation, and the thief is long gone.
Authorities say, with the hotel scam, it is getting extremely hard to track down these criminals. Usually by the time the consumer notices they have been ripped off, it is weeks and even sometimes months later. By this time, the trail that leads to the thief is gone. The best chance for catching these scam artists in action is right after the scam takes place. Unfortunately, these thieves are getting better at covering their tracks.