Europol on 26th June issued a news release saying that it had co-ordinated raids at European airports, targeting criminals trying to travel using fraudulently bought tickets and, as the peak summer holiday time approaches, over 141 individuals were arrested between 18th and 26th June in the latest law enforcement swoop which took place at over 226 airports around the world. Cases involved airline tickets bought using stolen, compromised or fake credit card details. Some 334 suspicious transactions were reported, and a number of investigations have been subsequently opened. IATA estimates that the airline industry loses over $1 billion per year as a result of the fraudulent online purchases of flight tickets. In addition, millions of innocent citizens are affected through the misuse of their credit card data. During the action week, representatives from airlines, online travel agencies, payment card companies, Perseuss and the IATA worked together with experts from Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) to identify suspicious airline ticket transactions. Payment card company officials confirmed suspicious transactions using their own financial data systems when alerted by the participating airlines. IATA provided important fraud intelligence from its database. The news release also provided some (fairly obvious) tips on avoiding becoming a victim of the fraud.
See also the warning and tips published on 11th June –