ASTA is alerting travel agents to a recent IATA warning that travel agents have received fraudulent requests for tickets from unknown persons. The individuals phone in sales to the agency using forged identities, and forged/stolen credit cards for payment. Targeted agencies should report the incident to local police and the airline, ASTA says.
ASTA pointed out that the fraud typically involves an alleged con artist who phones the targeted agency claiming to know someone who previously worked at the location. However, he cannot clearly identify the employee. Another feature of the scam is that the alleged con artist calls the agent long-distance, claiming to be in another city, but from a number located outside the U.S. The tickets requested involve trans-border itineraries originating in a different city and forged or stolen credit cards.
ASTA said it’s important to be aware of credit card fraud and be cautious. “Remember that it is your obligation to obtain a card imprint, proper authorization and a signature from a cardholder," ASTA said in a statement. "If you do not, you will be liable for the total value of a “charge back” due to non-payment.”