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Travelers Beware - How to Avoid This Scam

We have now had two clients fall prey to an airfare scam this year, so we want to warn you.

Here's how the scam works:

  • Scenario: Your flights are all booked and paid for.

  • You want to call the airline to ask questions or make changes.

  • You search for the airline on Google (or other search engine), and either a phone number pops up or the company's name pops up at the top of the results, so it looks legitimate.

  • You call the number (they may answer with “Reservations”)

  • They look up your reservation for you based on the confirmation code you give them, and they tell you that you owe more money on your flight and threaten to cancel you

  • You pay them more money!

  • In actuality, your ticket was paid for. They are just rebooking you or changing your reservation and recharging you under their agency, so they can take your money.

  • You go on the trip, so the charge looks legitimate in every way, and it is harder to dispute with the bank.

The problem

  • At a quick glance, sometimes it is hard to tell if search results are delivering authentic company websites or sites of agencies or fraudsters.

How to prevent this scam from impacting you:

  • Go to an airline's website (or your trip itinerary, if we planned your trip) for the official airline phone number.

  • Do not trust Google results. The sponsored listings at the top can be deceiving if you don't look at them very carefully. They may present as if they are the airline (or cruise line, etc).

  • Check the URL for the website to make sure it is actually the official company site.

What Toastable Travel will do to help:

  • Our itineraries contain all travel company phone numbers (and we will make sure airlines are included), so you can reference your official documents rather than trust a Google search!

  • If you have fallen for this scam, and we planned your trip, we can provide you all the documentation you need in order to dispute the charges with your bank.

Please be careful. Fraudsters amp up their efforts during the holidays! If you have any questions or would like our expert guidance with your trip planning, contact us or schedule a consultation.


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