It probably goes without saying that before you book a flight, you should actually be certain you’re booking with the actual airline. But with scammers getting more and more sophisticated, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish the real deal from fakes. One Michigan family, for example, nearly lost $300 when trying to rebook a flight to Japan on a website posing as Delta’s. Naomi Poel and husband Hunter Pulaski were planning a trip with their 2-year-old daughter to visit family in Japan, when they were notified the day of their flight of a delay.
Panicking that they might miss their connecting flight, the family scrambled to find a solution, and stumbled across a website purporting to be linked to Delta.
As reported by USA Today, Laura Blankenship, director of marketing for the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern Michigan, said, “You have to be very careful when clicking online advertisements. It’s very easy for a scammer to impersonate a legitimate business. Instead of clicking the link, go to the business directly to purchase tickets.” On its official website, Delta cautioned against using third-party services, as that can expose you to frauds.
By showing up at the Delta counter at the airport, Poel found out that the website they used was a third-party company and got the $300 service fee that was on her credit card back.
When booking tickets online, look carefully at any details that may look out of place, as well as at the URL — a few extra minutes looking at fine prints, for example, can prevent vacation disasters.