Republic of the Philippines
National Police Commission
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City
ACG-CYBER SECURITY BULLETIN NR 226: UNDERSTANDING THE RISK OF ONLINE AIRLINE TICKET SCAM
Reference Number ACG-CSB 111621226
The following information was obtained from different cyber security sources for notification to all parties concerned pursuant to the mandate of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) and classified as “Restricted” pursuant to the PNP Regulation 200-012 on Document Security and Impact Rating as high based on PNP Information Communication Technology (ICT) Security Manual s.2010-01 p. 22 and p.129.
Air ticket scams have now become more rampant from many reported cases of travelers daily. Even the most brilliant people and those well-established travel agencies have fallen prey to ticket scams.
The scammer will book air tickets with stolen credit cards. After they have gotten the ticket details from the airline, they will proceed and start scamming honest buyers. Some crooks may purchase the airline tickets then cancel them to get a confirmation number and a flight credit. There are times where fraudulently obtained tickets reported to be used for human trafficking, drug smuggling, illegal immigration, and terrorism.
Scam websites will capture your credit card details, including the Card Verification Value number, account number, and expiration date prior sending messages informing that your transaction was declined, thereby giving you another option to wire the funds to complete the ticket purchase. Some may use other tactics such as sending you an error message to indicate a technical problem and the transaction is incomplete. Therefore, they will instruct you to go for another payment option like paying the ticket via postal money order, wiring, etc. Another recent scam involves the creation of a fully functional website mimicking legitimate websites by adding a different variety of travel destinations that may suit different types of travelers.
It is also important to acknowledge that scammers are continually inventing more clever ways to swindle travelers even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All PNP personnel as well as the public are advised to follow the tips below in order to avoid the security risk of ONLINE AIRLINE TICKET SCAM
- Pay attention to the domain and website names. A small difference in the name or domain such as “.ph” instead of “.com” or a letter can direct you to a completely different company. There is a high probability that these sites were made by online ticket scammers.
- Before purchasing your tickets, it is important to always confirm if it’s from a legitimate website.
- Avoid the purchase of airline tickets from classified websites that may be selling other things like holiday homes and cars.
- Always Google for customer reviews online to ensure the company is legitimate. Try not to rely on the website’s customer reviews as most of them are fake.
- Think twice even if the price looks good to be true because in other cases, it will most likely be there to scam and lure you into their trap.
For additional information, please refer to the following websites:
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