Articles about website spoofing, cybersecurity trends, and how to protect your customers from hackers.
Now that we seemingly approach a post-pandemic period, the travel industry has seen huge increases in demand. Naturally, scammers and shady travel sites are not far behind.
Now that travel restrictions are lifting, lots of folks looking for an excursion are on the hunt for the cheapest tickets they can find. The proliferation of “cheap airline ticket” sites naturally increases, confusing customers who pay higher prices than they should – with no tickets being delivered at all in some cases. These sites need to convince a “victim” that they are legitimate and often will have reviews that seemingly make their case. https://www.faresfeed.com/ has well over a hundred reviews that are the best ever, but are these reviews legitimate? It’s hard to say. There are plenty of shady companies who offer services to create fake positive reviews for a price to convince the traveler they found the right travel site.
Check out the imagery and the “partners” they work with at https://theflightstickets.com/. Are they really offering the best price for flights? If you dig far enough, you will find disclaimers that help create more confusion, such as travelservicepad’s section (https://travelservicepad.com/info/disclaimer.htm) as well as Faresfeed.com with fine print that explains
Disclaimer: Faresfeed.com is an independent online travel agency and has no association with any airlines or any third-party organization.
That’s not surprising, given the customer complaints who did business with that site.
Recently, shady businesses and outright scammers have automated their process by unleashing scraping bots aimed at airline sites for ticket prices that they “manipulate” and republish to their sites. This enables them to appear to be a legitimate travel service provider. Besides the burden placed on carrier websites to deal with this traffic, the information captured by these bots won’t necessarily provide the best price to a consumer. Quite the opposite in fact. And with the suggestive imagery present on their sites, it is easy to trick a customer into thinking they are getting the best price.
What is an ordinary traveler to do? The best strategy is to always thoroughly check travel websites with reports of fraud or customer complaints about overpriced tickets. Google searches are clearly the easiest way to find out. The Better Business Bureau, https://bbb.org, is also a sure bet they will list customer complaints.
Don’t buy until you find out. Are you about to be scammed? Or should you go directly to the major carrier website and buy your tickets from the source? Buying tickets directly from the airline is always a best practice for travel, as it gives you more ability to cancel, re-book, and negotiate seating without incurring 3rd party fees and tricky cancellation policies.
That being said, 3rd party agencies often have low prices (before the fees) and are quite easy to locate. Searching through Google Flights to find legitimate sites (ideally the airline itself) with good prices is, in my opinion, the best practice for finding flights for your next trip.
Posted by Mitch W