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BBB Warns of Travel Scams in the Summer Months

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BBB Warns of Travel Scams in the Summer Months

Despite the International Air Transport Association’s optimistic projections of exceeding $25 billion in profits for the airline industry in 2024, consumers continue to fall victim to scammers capitalizing on their travel plans. Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker has received numerous reports detailing fraudulent flight-cancellation notices and deceptive practices targeting travelers.

How the Scam Works

Travelers searching for budget-friendly flights online may encounter seemingly enticing deals with reputable airlines. After booking flights through a website or customer support number, they receive a call from the company citing sudden price hikes or additional charges to confirm the booking. In reality, they’ve inadvertently purchased tickets through scam websites or phony customer-service numbers. The price escalation serves as a ploy to extract more money from unsuspecting consumers.

“Scammers are hijacking dreams with their deceitful schemes, turning the joy of travel into a nightmare for unsuspecting consumers.” said Robyn Householder, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. “In preparation for Summer travel, be sure to visit trusted websites to purchase tickets.”

One victim shared their experience with BBB Scam Tracker, stating, “I believed I purchased airline tickets with United Airlines through a discounted seller. Shortly after, they called to claim the flight was canceled, urging an $80 fee to reschedule with Southwest. However, United Airlines never canceled the flight. Attempts to contact the seller via phone and email were futile, and it appeared the airlines were oblivious to the ticket purchase.”

Tips to Avoid Travel Scams:

  • Research Companies: Prior to engaging with unfamiliar entities, consult BBB.org for reviews and customer feedback. Opt for travel businesses accredited by Better Business Bureau for added security.
  • Verify Flight Details: Double-check flight information before contacting support. Scammers disseminate bogus airline cancellation emails and texts, often resembling authentic communications. Confirm the accuracy of details such as flight and reservation numbers before reaching out to customer service.
  • Authenticate Website URLs: Exercise caution when entering personal and payment information online. Verify the legitimacy and security of websites before proceeding with transactions. Visit BBB.org/BBBSecure for further guidance.
  • Exercise Caution with Third-Party Websites: Remain vigilant of websites lacking valid customer-service contacts, displaying grammatical errors, or featuring dubious addresses.
  • Use Credit Cards for Online Purchases: Utilize credit cards for online transactions, as they offer recourse for disputing fraudulent charges, unlike alternative payment methods.

For More Information: For comprehensive guidelines on safeguarding against travel scams, visit BBB.org/Travel. Victims of airline ticket or travel-related scams are encouraged to report their experiences at BBB.org/ScamTracker, aiding in preventing future victimizations.

For additional inquiries, please visit BBB.org or contact [Phone Number] to access business information, file complaints, submit customer reviews, access tips, and more.