Friday 23 January
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has recently received information from a member agent advising of a booking scam operating via an online classifieds website.
It is understood that independant advertisers are selling what appears to be discounted airfares and receiving direct payment from consumers.
The scammers then proceed to book a flight on behalf of the consumer with a legitimate travel company using a fraudulent credit card to pay for a standard airfare.
Travel companies are then being hit by chargebacks once the true cardholder becomes aware of the unauthorised charge to their card.
The airfare booking is subseqently cancelled, and the original consumer is out of pocket, has no air ticket and is unable to claim re-imbursement given they have paid by direct deposit.
Travel agents should do their own investigation relating to this matter and report any fraudulent activity to their respective Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading Department.
We would like to remind consumers of the importance of booking travel through ATAS - accredited travel agents for peace of mind, and professional, expert travel support.