CAL takes steps to prevent travel scam

| 04/12/2009

Cayman islands news island weather classifieds business financial services(CNS): To help combat fraudulent sales of supposedly discount airline tickets, Cayman Airways has introduced a variety of new payment and booking procedures, including requiring customers to provide the security-code on the back of the credit or debit card being used for payment, and requiring an address verification of cardholders. Additionally, for web bookings the card holder must be at least one of the passengers traveling, and bookings made within 48 hours of travel will require the card holder to present the card at the airport for verification.

Alternatively, the card holder can present the card prior to departure at any Cayman Airways ticket office for verification.

Fabian Whorms, Acting CEO of Cayman Airways commented, “Cayman Airways is committed to providing secure booking processes for our customers, and we thank the public for their cooperation and understanding.”

This week the RICPS warned that a con-artist is offering package travel deals, primarily to Jamaica, and has taken cash from individuals for tickets which they are told are bought on line. In reality, the tickets were purchased using fraudulent means. The FCU said the scam where the recipients believe they have a genuine ticket and travel itinerary isbecause the criminals have used the credit cards details of customers from various banks around the world.

In light of this latest scam, Cayman Airways Limited (CAL) issued a reminder to the travelling public to ensure that all CAL tickets are made only through authorized travel agencies, or directly through the airline.

The travel scam has resulted in many people being left without a valid ticket, CAL noted in a release, and in several instances the unauthorized individuals promised and collected money for airline tickets at a significantly discounted price, or at a previously promoted sale price that was no longer available.

“These invalid tickets are being sold for cash directly, or via money transfer,” explained Cayman Airways Senior VP Commercial Affairs and CFO, Paul Tibbetts. “Stolen credit cards are then used to make the seemingly legitimate booking for the traveler, leaving them with a situation where they are either denied travel or the matter is turned over to the RCIP for action.” Tibbetts said it is important to note that in cases where the passenger has already travelled, they are the ones who are held accountable.

Anyone who suspects that they may have been a victim of this scam or who has recently paid cash to a third party for flights, other than a bona fide travel agency or airline is asked to contact DC Richard Clarke at the Financial Crimes Unit on 9498797.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    For those people like 15:33 concerned about being able to book flights using a credit card when they will not be flying there is a simple solution – use Expedia or Travelocity.  Expedia even put Cayman Airways onto the ‘search by airline’ facility, so you can be sure of getting the most options (and in an easier booking environment than the Cayman Airways website as well!)

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not clear from their statement that those websites are excluded from the requirement to show the credit card or be one of the travelers.  If this new policy only applies to credit card purchases made on the Cayman Airways website – well, that’s even dumber than dumb.  They might as well shut down their site and redirect inquiries to Expedia or Travelocity.

      • Mozzie Fodder says:

        The cardholder doesn’t need to be a passenger to book flights through Expedia. However, you have to register your card with them and go through an on-line pre-authorisation process.

  2. Anonymous says:

    ***** for web bookings the card holder must be at least one of the passengers traveling*****  HUH!!!!!

    As a parent, and a card holder, this certainly will be inconvenient.  I often purchase my child’s ticket online when he travels back and forth alone from university in the USA. I will have to consider booking him on an airline (eg A.A.), that makes it convenient to purchase his ticket online.

    I do hope CAL will reconsider this policy as it is my favorite airline. I am sure there are other methods that can be used to ensure the purchase is legitmate.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you really care about the airline as you say, A short drive to their office will solve the problem although I must agree that the idea of the person purchasing the tickets being one of the Travellers is a stupid idea.

      Well I guess as usual that the Management of the airline thinks the people need the airline more than the airline need the people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a Christmas present, I wanted to bring my two parents from the US to Cayman in the spring.  I checked the various travel websites as well as trying to do the Miami-Cayman segment usingour national flag carrier.  Due to the costs, Isaved over $350 US using American rather than Cayman Airways.  I paid for the tickets using my credit card on the web.  I am obviously already here and not traveling on the booking.  If this requirement that "for web bookings the card holder must be at least one of the passengers traveling" then I not only would not have used Cayman Airways because of cost, they would have lost my business because they wouldn’t accept my money!