INDIANAPOLIS — If you’re booking airfare for a summer vacation or fall break, be careful of which website you’re using.
The Better Business Bureau issued a warning about third-party websites that pretend to be online airline ticket brokers.
Here’s how the scam works:
You do an online search for the cheapest flights, and come across a website that has a great deal on tickets.
The site looks professional and legitimate, but when you begin the payment process red flags start to appear, according to the BBB.
Shortly after making a credit card payment, you receive a call from the company asking you to verify your name, address, banking information or other personal details – something a legitimate company would never do, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB says this scam is sophisticated.
“What makes the scam so convincing is that, once you pay, you receive a confirmation code that can be verified with the airline,” the BBB said. “However, after a day or two, your reservation will be canceled and the company that charged you will disappear. It appears the scammers booked the flight and charged your card – only to cancel it shortly after and make off with your money.”
BBB Tips on How to Avoid Travel Scams
- Do your research. Research the company before making any purchases. Look on BBB.org [send.council.bbb.org] for reviews and feedback from previous customers.
- Don't cave under pressure. Many scammers pressure you to hand over your money or give up your personal details, claiming you'll lose out on a fantastic deal or have to pay extra fees. If something doesn't feel right, hang up and contact your credit card company. Ask them to put a hold on your credit card payment.
- Only make purchases with your credit card. If a company asks you to pay with a pre-paid debit card or to wire funds, stop-- don't do it. These are not standard payment methods and, if you go through with them, there will be no way to get your money back. Credit card charges, on the other hand, can be contested.