Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2005]
Bogus Airline Ticketing Websites
The US Department of State CIRT (Computer Incident Response Team) has provided the below information regarding bogus Airline Ticketing Websites as an FYI.
The following information was received from US-CERT and is forwarded for informational purposes only.
DO NOT go to the web sites listed.
Use caution when purchasing airline tickets online. The following information was submitted by the contracted travel office of a federal agency.
The following airline ticketing Internet websites have been identified to be scams.
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.
Origins: The advent of the World Wide Web has proved a boon for travelers: now consumers can not only plan their own itineraries and purchase tickets for air travel without having to deal with travel agents or airline reservation personnel, they can take advantage of comparison-pricing search tools to quickly find the very cheapest fares. Unfortunately, now ticket buyers aren't always aware of just whom they're dealing with, or how reputable they are.
Although we don't know the provenance of the warning quoted above, which alerts consumers to various scam airline ticketing web sites (we've seen versions credited to
Web users have reported similar experiences about the ticketing sites at submitprice.net, busysky.net, cheapclouds.com: they attempted to purchase tickets from these sites using credit cards, received error messages indicating that their cards could not be processed, and were then told that due to technical problems they needed to submit payment via Western Union:
Fortunately, many users seem to have been savvy enough to realize that something was amiss with these sites and stopped short of submitting their credit card information to them, canceled their cards after attempting to purchase tickets through these sites, or declined to follow the instructions to submit payment through Western Union.
The principle of caveat emptor applies just as much buying airline tickets on-line as to any other purchase: if a deal seems too good to be true, there's probably a catch.
Last updated: 23 March 2005