Buyer beware: Plane ticket scam leaves families stranded

Fake travel agency selling tickets purchased with stolen credit cards exposed.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Boeing airplane
Boeing airplane

Police arrested a 27-year old man from central Israel who has been accused of running a fraudulent travel agency and selling tickets purchased with stolen credit card information, using the tickets to scam customers.

According to authorities, the suspect advertised a fake travel agency, drawing customers with promises of low ticket prices.

Unsuspecting customers were lured into purchasing the tickets, often times to discover the tickets they had purchased were later cancelled by the airlines.

Police say the man used stolen credit card data to buy the tickets, then quickly sold them off for cash to customers responding to his advertisements.

In some cases, customers found themselves bilked, having paid in cash for tickets that were cancelled before they boarded the plane.

Others, however, found themselves stranded abroad after having used the tickets to fly out, only to find the return ticket had been cancelled.

Last week, one customer was nearly defrauded of 33,000 shekels ($9,160) after he ordered nine tickets for a family trip. When the suspect insisted on a cash payment, the customer insisted on receiving his tickets at the time of payment, a demand the suspect agreed to.

Prior to paying for the tickets, however, the man attempted to make changes to his order, and contacted the airline directly. An airline representative informed the man that the tickets had been purchased with credit card information that had been reported as stolen and were thus cancelled.

The customer reported the incident to police, who were able to track down the suspect using the phone number listed in the advertisement.