May 24, 2024

Twitter User Finds Scam Numbers Listed for Airlines on Google

  • A Twitter user said he was almost scammed after a canceled Delta flight.
  • He called a number listed on Google for Delta, but it turned out he wasn’t talking to the airline.
  • After the call, he says he found six other airlines with incorrect numbers listed on Google.

On Twitter, Shmuli Evers shared a story of canceled flights, scammers, and plenty of red flags.

Under the username @ShmuliEvers detailed a story that began with a canceled Delta flight.

“My @delta flight was canceled from JFK. The customer service line was huge, so I Googled Delta’s JFK phone number. The number was 1888-571-4869 Thinking I had arrived at Delta, I started telling for them to get me a new flight,” he said tweeted Sunday.

But that phone call called him a scam, he said. And after more digging, Evers said he found at least six other airlines that he suspected were scam numbers listed on Google.

In a statement sent to Insider, a spokesperson from Google said “we do not tolerate this misleading activity, and we are constantly monitoring and developing our platforms to fight fraud and create a safe environment for users and businesses.”

Evers did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

After calling the number listed on Google, the traveler says he noticed red flags

In a tweet on Monday, Evers describe long personal waiting lines at the Delta customer service desk. He wrote that his flight was canceled after sitting on a plane for 2.5 hours at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, so the Twitter user turned to Google for help in getting another flight certain.

In a Twitter thread, he said he called the number listed under Delta’s contact information for the airport through the search engine.

Evers wrote that the call was dropped at first, but he got a call back from another number, which Evers considered a “red flag.” Hoping it wasn’t a scam, he said on Twitter that he gave the person on the phone his name and confirmation number.

That person offered to help him book a flight later that evening, Evers said.

“He texted me a screen of flight details from Newark, and asked me to confirm via SMS (red flag) number 845-284-1309. I thought about it and texted him back to go ahead, still thinking I’m talking to Delta…” Evers said in a tweet.

Evers also said he asked the caller where he was located. According to Evers, the man said he was based in Rochester, New York – but when he asked the man where that was located, Evers said he told him it was two hours south of City New York. (Rochester is, in fact, 5.5 hours northeast of New York City.)

For Evers, that was the ultimate red flag. Evers said he refused to share his credit card information with the caller who “was asking me to pay him 5 times the price of the original cost of the ticket.”

In a statement sent to Insider, a Delta spokesperson said, “whenever we become aware of an alleged scam targeting our customers, including in this case, we immediately investigate. Using the facts obtained from an investigation, when we can, we can then. address each individual case as appropriate with the necessary legal means available to us.”

Evers looked up the numbers for other airlines and found more wrong numbers

A Twitter user found more airlines with inaccurate numbers.

Evers says he found more airlines with inaccurate numbers and posted screenshots on Twitter (above).

Google



After his experience with Delta, Evers began looking at the other contact information listed on Google for major airlines.

At the time he published his tweet, Evers said the numbers listed on Google for American Airlines, Air France, ITA Airways, Qantas Airways, and Turkish Airlines were all incorrect at their respective JFK airport locations.

Evers also says he found an incorrect number listed for Southwest Airlines at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York.

According to a Google spokesperson, the company “has already begun to retract the inaccuracies, suspend the malicious accounts in question, and implement additional safeguards to prevent further abuse.”

Evers is not the only one who has come across similar scams

After he published his tweet, a handful of other people said they had experienced a similar scam when trying to contact an airline.

User @TyffiBoo wrote “It only happened to me with JetBlue. The first red flag was that the guy picked up the phone on the first ring and I wasn’t on hold for an hour.”

Another Twitter user said they were scammed out of nearly $2,500.

“I had the same experience with a scammer when I called Etihad with a Google search. Unfortunately, I fell for it and lost $2,400,” they said Write under the username @Rembrandt727.

According to the Better Business BureauScams around flights are nothing new.

The bureau advises travelers to “take care and double-check the URL or phone number before providing your credit card information.”

The organization’s website also advises travelers to do their own research and be wary of third-party websites. If you decide to submit a payment for travel online or by phone, the BBB recommends using a credit card because these payments can often be disputed with your credit card company.

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