How to Spot the Airline Ticket Scam on Craigslist

By Techwalla Internet Editor

The airline ticket scam targets travelers looking for a deal or desperate for a trip out of the cold. Scammers use Craigslist to lure travelers into the scam by offering substantially discounted tickets or tickets available for sold out flights. Learn how to spot the airline ticket scam on Craigslist so that you won't have to end up paying two times for one trip.

Step 1

Look for airline tickets on Craigslist. The airline ticket scam can occur at any time during the year, but it is especially prevalent around holidays. Scammers know that travelers are looking for cheap tickets or tickets for flights that have been completely booked.

Step 2

Find a posting that seems to be a great deal. Scammers claim to have tickets to a specific destination or that they can order tickets for you because of available ticketless travel funds.

Step 3

Email the scammer and request details about the transaction. Scammers will likely request that you wire money to them in exchange for the tickets. Scammers have also been known to demand gift certificates as payment.

Step 4

Receive your airline tickets. The scammer may mail the tickets to your home or, if the tickets were ordered using ticketless travel funds, the scammer will give you access to an online airline account and have you print electronic tickets.

Step 5

Use the tickets.

Step 6

Expect a call from the airline company. Listen to an airline representative tell you that the tickets you purchased on Craigslist were bought using a stolen credit card and that the credit card's owner is in the process of disputing the charge. Have the company demand immediate payment for the tickets. Face possible financial trouble for having to pay for your ticket two times.

Tips & Warnings

  • Checking out the given name, airline account and ticket confirmation numbers with the airline company may not be enough to determine if you're dealing with a scammer because the real owner of the card may not have realized that his card was stolen.
  • Sometimes, airlines will tell you that the tickets were stolen when you arrive at the ticket counter or during a flight.
  • Many airline companies have policies against transferring tickets to people other than the purchaser.