Cheap plane tickets could end up costing you a lot

By Greg Collier

With many of the pandemic restrictions starting to be loosened, many people are looking to start traveling again. When people travel for whatever reason, they try to find the best bargain for their airfare. While this could lead you to getting a great deal, it could also lead to you being ripped off for airline tickets that may not even exist.

If you’re looking to book a flight you might find various third-party websites and services that promise you a steep discount for airline tickets. However, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that they could be nothing more than scams. One version of the scam happens when you do a web search for an airline customer service number. Scammers often take out ads on the more popular search engines to try to get you to call them instead of the actual airline. They’ll take your money and send you a confirmation email but what they never send you are your tickets.

In another variation of this scam, you’ll pay for tickets through a scam website or phony customer service number. The scammers will then contact you telling you that there’s been a price increase or an additional service charge is required. And you still never get any tickets. Legitimate airlines would never do this.

If you’re planning to travel by air anytime soon, your best bet to protect yourself from these scams is to stick with the airline websites or well-known travel sites. You can still find some really good deals that also include lodging and car rentals. If you come across a deal that you think is just too good to pass up, research the service or website offering the deal before you give them any money. One of the best ways to do this is to put the name of the service or website in a search engine along with some additional search terms like ‘scam’ or ‘complaints’.

As with most online purchases, a few minutes of research could save you from a lot of financial headaches.