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True Crime: Avoid this holiday travel nightmare

Flight cancellations have inspired a new scam targeting travelers. The con artists set the stage by setting up fake airline ticket booking sites and customer service numbers. When they’re ready to go, they contact people from a list by text, email, or phone and tell them their flight has been canceled (which isn’t true) and offer to rebook them on a different flight (that doesn’t exist). They ask for a form of payment or some PII (personally identifiable information), and make off with the traveler’s funds. The victim loses their money, and probably misses their original flight, too.

What can you do?

  1. Look for mistakes. Scam artists often use made-up flight and reservation numbers that won’t match your records, and their messages often contain typos, misspelled words, and grammatical errors. If the message seems suspicious, don’t reply. Find another way to verify your flight details.
  2. Make online purchases with a credit card. If the charge ends up being fraudulent, you can probably dispute it and avoid losing money. This may not be the case with other payment methods, including debit cards.<
  3. Contact us. We’re trained to spot scams and want to keep you and your money safe. If you’re ever in doubt about the legitimacy of a request for information about you or your accounts, please contact us.