Latest Travel Scams – More Free Airline Ticket Offers that Aren't Free

We’ve received reports from Southern California that two distinct travel offers that are not quite what they seem are making the rounds via phone and email, and may be showing up elsewhere. If you see one of these offers, proceed with caution – and see the video below.

What to know about email scams

Offer #1

How: This offer came in a phone call from someone who strongly suggested they represented Delta Air Lines.

What: The recipient was offered two free Delta tickets just for coming out and enjoying a “relaxing visit” at the new Delta office in a suburb of Los Angeles. The recipient smelled a rat and declined. FareCompare contacted Delta and spokesperson Paul Skrbec told us Delta has no ticket offices (outside airports) in the U.S. and added, “Because Delta is not the source of fraudulent activity reported by customers, we cannot speculate on how individuals were selected to receive this misinformation. Delta’s information security team is continuing to monitor the situation.” Delta offers this link to helpful information for those who think they could be victims of fraudulent activity.

Bottom line: Could the ticket offer be real? Anything is possible but our guess is the offer comes with more strings attached than a kite convention and the offer is not coming from Delta. In other words, be wary – if not downright skeptical.

Offer #2

How: This offer arrived via snail mail, possibly in an attempt to bypass email spam filters. The letterhead of the stationary bore the legend, “Fly a US Airline” then listed “US Air, Southwest, Jet Blue”. A clue here is that ‘US Air’ actually calls itself US Airways while ‘Jet Blue’ goes by the one-word name, JetBlue.

What: The recipient is told he/she has “qualified for an award of (2) round-trip airline tickets” valid anywhere in the U.S. from a major airport. On the back, small print notes that this promotion is not sponsored by or affiliated with any third party business referenced in the offer so you know it’s not coming from any airline. FareCompare called the number listed in the offer and was told the tickets would be given away only at the end of a 90 minute presentation for a ‘travel club’ held in a town 60 miles away. We have heard about such travel club presentations before and they can involve expensive dues for membership. As for the tickets, we were told the recipient has to pay all taxes and fees so those aren’t free, either.

Bottom line: Go ahead and listen if you’re determined to but expect a hard sell – and tickets that are not completely free.

VIDEO: FareCompare’s Rick Seaney talked about phony airline offers with NBC 5 Dallas back in 2012.

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Published: April 14, 2014