Fraudsters attempting to entice victims looking for cheap flights
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has warned of a new scheme targeting people looking for cheap flights abroad.
Victims are reporting that they have booked tickets via websites or a “popular” ticket broker, only to discover that afterwards the tickets or booking references received are counterfeit. In some cases, all communications between the company or broker and the victim have been severed. Victims are being asked to make payment via bank transfer or electronic wire transfer.
The fraud appears to be targeting people travelling to African nations and the Middle East, particularly those travelling for popular public and religious holidays.
Mike Wright, Partner at Quantuma has this advice for spotting potential fraud online:
- “Always be wary if you’re being asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. Direct bank transfers are hard to trace, and won’t be refundable. You should always try to pay with a credit or debit card.
- Don’t jump into buying anything if it seems too good to be true; conduct research first. Check online forums and look for reviews – but don’t just rely on one review.
- Check the website, does it look professional? A website that only has a PO Box address or mobile phone number as the only contact methods should be an instant red flag. These are easy to change and difficult to trace if things go wrong.
- When it comes to travel, check whether the company is a member of a trade body such as ABTA or ATOL. You can verify membership of ABTA online, at www.abta.com.”
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
(Information provided from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and City of London Police)
Quantuma’s investigators work with leading law firms, financial institutions and organisations, advising on complex multi-jurisdictional matters including fraud, litigation, debt/asset recovery, arbitration and corporate.
For more information contact:
Mike Wright, Partner
Quantuma LLP, High Holborn House, 52-54 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6RL
Tel: +44 (0)7970 049497