Gone are the days when only the rich could travel by plane. Nowadays, most of the middle-class people also fly and the number of people traveling by flight is increasing rapidly. India's domestic air traffic increased to 117 million passengers in the year 2017 with 100 flights taking off each hour when compared to just 67 in 2011. As the number of people who travel by flight is on the rise, online flight booking too is increasing. Taking advantage of this, fraudsters are trying to cheat people who book flight tickets online.
In a shocking incident, a 25-year-old Mumbai based research analyst lost more than Rs 1 Lakh while booking flight tickets on a popular ticket booking site.
A few days back, the victim had booked a flight ticket from Hyderabad to Mumbai by downloading the mobile app of some popular travel portal. But, she had not received her e-ticket even after the payment was made online. She lodged a complaint with the apps chat option. As she didn't receive the proper response, she tried calling up the customer care number of the portal. But, she could not get through to the customer care executive.
After a few hours, she received a call from someone who introduced himself as a customer care executive of the ticket booking portal. The woman informed the executive that she had not received the e-ticket for the journey from Hyderabad to Mumbai. She then received a soft copy of the ticket through a messaging service. The executive told her to make the payment again. The victim declined saying, she had already made the payment. But, the executive repeatedly forced her to make the payment.
After the victim kept refusing to make the payment, the executive kept asking her if the payment was done. As soon as she told him that the payment was made from her account, the executive disconnected the call. A few hours later when the victim checked her phone, she was shocked to know that more than Rs 1 Lakh was debited from her bank account. The amount was debited in seven transactions.
According to the victim, the travel portal was involved in carrying out the fraud as the ticket she received was original. But, the police say that cybercriminals might have created a fake app using the travel portals name and collected the victim's bank account details.
As fraudsters create fake apps to cheat people, you must be very careful while downloading any apps to your phone. You have to verify and install only genuine apps from the Google Play Store and Apple Store. Before downloading the apps, you must check the number of downloads, customer review, and ratings. Avoid downloading the apps which have less number of downloads, negative reviews and ratings.
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