There are more consecutive holidays this year, bringing the trend of travelling abroad. Apart from booking flight tickets from a travel agent, many travelers like to purchase cheap tickets online after price comparison. This trend gives an opportunity for the law-breaker to commit crimes by selling fake tickets or mileage. According to the anti-fraud hotline database, there were 35 reported flight tickets/ mileage cases between this January to August; among the cases, the highest financial loss per transaction was NTD170,000. The victims not only lost their money, but also the desire for further travel.
At the end of this January, Miss Hsu from Taoyuan purchased 10 round tickets for Taipei-Hong Kong at the price of NTD3,000 per trip (NTD30,000 in total) through an online shopping platform; the seller claimed to have cheap tickets out of vouchers and that the price was negotiable when purchasing a large quantity. Miss Hsu did not receive the tickets after remittance and found nearly 20 victims had suffered the same fraud when she tried to contact the buyer online.
In February, Mr. Lee from Taipei purchased 40,000 mileage of China Airline through a cyber friend nicknamed as “Kamaze” at the price of NTD12,000. After remittance for days, Mr. Lee contacted China Airlines but was informed no mileage was transferred and Kamaze had lost contact. Mr. Chang from Taipei asked a cyber-friend who claimed to work in a travel agent to book tickets and hotels for him; this fraudster claimed to have found a cheap package which required advance payment and charged for more than NTD 170,000 at four installations. When Mr. Chang asked for a refund, the fraudster was out unable to be contacted. He contacted the travel agent and found the fraudster was no longer working for the company and the contact details were all faked. Mr. Chang was furious and reported the matter to the police.
According to Regulations Governing the Administration of Travel Agencies, only the consolidated Class-A travel agencies with business licenses can sell international flight tickets; those who sell international fight tickets without a license can be fined from NTD 90,000 up to NTD 450,000. It is suggested that travelers purchase tickets or travel packages directly through airlines or reputable travel agencies and exercise caution when someone offers unreasonably cheap tickets or packages and fails to inform the source. Private transactions should also be avoided in order to prevent dispute or fraud. If you need more information or consultation, please call at 165 anti-fraud hotline center.