Sunday, November 18, 2007

Use Caution when buying airline coupons on Ebay

Scam Alert: Auction site Ebay is filled with attractive coupons and discounts for many airlines in the U.S. Whether you need discounted tickets on Southwest, Continental, Northwest and Alaska (to name a few), Ebay seems to have the discount your looking for. Most have rules however stating the certificates cannot be sold, traded, etc., so you need to be mindful of this.

But this story is really about United Airlines $100 off e-certificates on the Ebay site. It seems someone very creative, arguably bored, may have found a way to "crack the code" and is trying to sell fraudulently obtained e-certs by transposing numbers. The technique for doing this is described on travelglitch. The result: some people on Ebay are selling these codes at a steep discount.

This causes duplicated e-certificate numbers, with one person using the code they legitimately obtained from United, the other using the code they ultimately obtained from a fraudster.

inFLIGHTout recommends you ask the seller for a scan or other documentation showing they have the actual e-certificate from the airline before deciding to purchase. If they airline becomes tuned in to the fraudulent situation, you may find yourself, and your mileage plus account under scrutiny. (Yes, they have suspended & closed accounts for not adhering to frequent flyer program rules).