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very strange event -- Con game?

very strange event -- Con game?

Old Jul 23, 20, 1:51 pm
  #1  
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very strange event -- Con game?

A very strange thing happened during business with Austrian airlines but I'm posting here because I think it is not specific to that carrier.

I had to cancel a flight from LAX to VIE due to the virus and for reasons I still don't understand, I was somehow put in contact with a company I'm quite certain is fraudulent.

This company's phone number is 8556530296, and the name on my eventual credit card entry is " Airlines E Services." Anyway, they said they would convert my unusable ticket to an open ticket but this would cost $190 which I agreed to and gave them my credit card information.

They called a few days later stating his credit card bill was rejected and wanted my information again. I logged on and found out the credit card debit indeed went through to the above-mentioned name.

I was already suspicious based on their behavior over the phone and I asked him who exactly they are and were extremely evasive and said they work out of Houston Texas. I called Austrian airlines, on what turned out to be the correct number and they said they have no idea who these people were and have no facilities in Houston.

The also said there is no charge to generate an open ticket from a flight canceled by the virus.

I called the credit card company to establish contested debit inquiry.

I got a phone call from the same 855 number a few days later wanted to know why I am contesting the debit. I told him that I now realize they are a fraudulent company that somehow diverted a phone call intended to go to Austrian airlines and Austrian airlines would not charge me for this creation of an open ticket. ( It turns out from Austrian airlines they actually did generate an open ticket from this unusable flight). This led to an argument where they said that if I do not pay this bill they will cancel my ticket completely and I will lose the money.

I called Austrian the next day on the legitimate number and they said the ticket has not been canceled. They said they have absolutely no knowledge of this company or how they got in the middle of this.

I should also add that Austrian agents seem extremely aloof and not concerned about this issue whatsoever.

Can any one explain what went on here.? I think this "Airlines E. Services" might somehow be diverting calls from ticketholders and perhaps performing legitimate services but sticking in a price where the service might actually be for free through the airlines itself.
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Old Jul 23, 20, 1:58 pm
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I was somehow put in contact with a company I'm quite certain is fraudulent.
Can you explain how that happened? That's the part that's puzzling.
Has your chargeback gone through? Did OS have to get involved?
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Old Jul 23, 20, 2:41 pm
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OZ has nothing to do with it. A very common fraud designed to trap people who do not confirm the website they are on.

It is a fraud. You more than likely used a search engine to look up the carrier and that number popped up without confirming that it was the Austrian website you were on.. If you run the phone number you dialed, you will see that it comes up for a wide variety of travel services and airlines.

Always best to assure that you are on the website for the carrier in question. If you run Austrian and then see that its website is www.austrian.com, you will also find the correct phone number on its website.

Particularly important because you provided your credit card number to a fraudulent operation and should consider asking your card issuer for a new card.

A fraud for sure, but very easily avoided.
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Old Jul 23, 20, 8:52 pm
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Often 1. You are probably right. Thinking about this further , they probably just buy tkts for the poor souls who call them and then add a little to the legitimate price for themselves.As well as adding charges for modifications where none should exist. Smart

Last edited by ente_09; Jul 24, 20 at 8:17 am Reason: typo error
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Old Jul 23, 20, 9:10 pm
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You found the number on the internet -- clicked on something "need help cancelling / rescheduling your XYZ ticket"

and not the real airline's contact number

similar cases from UA forum --
Scammed by a fake UA call center {Consoldiated}
Scam phone number similar to 1K line
I needed help. I think I got scammed (not by United)
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Old Jul 23, 20, 11:04 pm
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My parents were also scammed by a shady group like this in the past - whatever they searched for in Google landed them on a shady website and they ended up "booking" with an agency call center in India. Took about a million phone calls and letters to Capitol One to get the money back, and Capitol One and Visa showed exactly zero interest in investigating or shutting down the merchant account.
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Old Jul 24, 20, 10:03 am
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Typical. Google often shows scam websites as top results. It's a big money maker for google.
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Old Jul 24, 20, 2:22 pm
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Sorry for your loss and for the hassle. It's troublesome enough to cancel legitimately. This just adds one more layer of hassle.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 1:18 am
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Did you get the number from OS or Google? What do you mean by ‘was put in touch with’?
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Old Jul 27, 20, 9:21 pm
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Originally Posted by ente_09 View Post
This company's phone number is 8556530296, and the name on my eventual credit card entry is " Airlines E Services."
It's a scam:

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Old Jul 28, 20, 6:08 am
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Yeah, there have been reports from this on FT many times before, you're not the first nor the last.

About the "scam" aspect, that's very debatable. You could've contacted the airline directly to provide a service free of charge, however, you voluntarily (no one forced you, no one) contacted a middleman to do this for you. They disclosed the fee to assist you beforehand, you agreed to the terms, gave your credit card number, they delivered said service, and they charged the agreed price. You most likely saved valuable time by not having to wait in the airline phone queue, and that could be a lot of time nowadays. So how exactly did they scam you?

Based on other reports on FT, it also appears that these companies don't impersonate any of the airlines. They won't use their logo, nor would they answer a call with, say, "United Airlines", rather they answer with a generic "Reservations" or "Ticket support". Although some reports claim otherwise, they seem to be careful enough to not make any false claims during the ensuing phone call. However, they are pretty good at bidding on Google AdWords to make sure their phone number pops up at the top of a relevant search, and Google happily rakes in the money and makes sure they are at the top. This has been going on for long enough for Google to be undoubtedly aware of this, yet they chose to continue to enable this practice.

Scam? I don't think so. Deceptive? Yes, but only because you rightfully trusted Google to provide you with the correct phone number, while in reality, they will provide you any phone number that some paying third party wants you to see. That's because Google doesn't care about you, it cares about those who pay for ads. Without Google's helpful assistance, these practices wouldn't exist.
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Old Jul 28, 20, 4:18 pm
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The quality of English on that screen grab above is hilarious. That alone ought to scare off a reasonably literate English speaker. And that's before you get to the total absence of logos or AA brand devices.
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Old Jul 28, 20, 7:50 pm
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Bottom line is that it's not just about air carrier website, it is about pretty much any online merchant vendor. Do yourself a favor and double check that you are on the merchant's website. It's rare that a legit. website URL is anything not quite clear.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 7:09 am
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Back when US Telco's were deregulated, people had a choice of which long distance carrier to use, ATT, MCI, Sprint, Worldcom, etc, were all options as were many others. If you spoke to a local operator from your local Telso, they HAD TO give you an option which long distance carrier to use 9ATT, MCI, etc) and follow your instructions. When people said "Whatever", "You choose", "I "don't care" or DOZENS of other such responses they would then be connected to "Whatever" telco, which would connect their call, and they could be charged 5, 10, 50 times the rate of other carriers.............People complained, court cases were filed, and ultimately other than a couple of fines perhaps, NOTHING happened because these were all registered Telco names and people had asked to use them. This is nothing but a modern day perpetuation of that type of scam.
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Old Jul 30, 20, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
The quality of English on that screen grab above is hilarious. That alone ought to scare off a reasonably literate English speaker. And that's before you get to the total absence of logos or AA brand devices.
Yes, 'monstrous 157 cities' has a nice ring to it.
But what I like best is the website: 'airlinescontactnumber.org'......
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