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Cheap Flight Scam

Author: Shaney Crawford, Issue: April 2005, Topic: Travel, Safety

There is a new scam that is tricking people into giving their credit card numbers under the guise of booking extremely cheap flights. I thought AT readers might like to know about this scam so none of us gets sucked in by the cheap flight premise.

Here are the fraudulent sites that have been identified so far.

[From the original email I received]

These sites attract customers by undercutting airline ticket prices offered elsewhere. They capture your credit card information, including account number, expiration date, and CVV (an anti-fraud security feature on credit cards). The customer receives a message stating that the credit card transaction has been declined, followed by instructions to wire funds for payment of the tickets.

This scam is quite clever in that unlike the usual phishing scam, they have not initiated the contact, the customer has by doing a web search for the best ticket prices. This creates a false perception of legitimacy. If successful, they will have obtained the customers' credit card information (sufficient to do mail order, phone order, or internet order), the customers' funds (if wired), and deposit account information (origination of wire).

Safe surfing!

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