ASAP Airline Quotes – $200
***Discounted Airline Tickets! – $200 (BOS)
Best Flight Rates – $200
Have you been on Craigslist and seen one of these advertisements? Maybe, in a quest to find the cheapest airfare, you’ve sent a query. Who wouldn’t want to find airline tickets within the United States for $200!
The not-good news is there’s a good chance the person or persons going under the name “Alvin Bicher” is going to take your personal and credit card information and use them for some purpose other than giving you cheap domestic airplane tickets.
Who knows, he could be funding his own getaway trip… or worse.
Here’s what the “signature” on his email looks like:
We’re not expert at investigating fraud. From what we have deduced — with the help of a few people who did contact him — this individual/s has stolen our website logo and is professing to be an “independent agent” for “AirBank / Travel Services.”
Very sadly, this also appears to be pretty close to the perfect airline ticket scam:
- He’s stolen the identity of a legitimate business;
- His email signature refers to an established company that does sell consolidator airline tickets – our tickets, however, are only available to international destinations, but one wouldn’t know that unless one visited our website;
- He can leverage our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for authenticity.
From the copies of emails we’ve received from people who very wisely called us before sending “Bicher” their information, he has this scam well constructed:
- He makes a reservation with an airline with his victim’s personal information;
- Forwards the reservation number to the victim for confirmation;
- Asks for the credit card information for payment.
Who knows what he does with that credit card number – but it certainly is not used to purchase airplane tickets!
A few facts –
- We know of NO consolidator airfares for domestic airplane tickets – and we’ve been selling airplane tickets for over 8 years;
- We have NO “independent agents;”
- We provide confirmations for reservations through the Amadeus global airline reservation system.
Upon first learning of “Bicher’s” activities on Craigslist, we were horrified. Then we naively thought removing the advertisements and apprehending this person would be a no-brainer. How wrong we were.
- A well-known “consumer advocate” in the airline world;
- The New Hampshire Justice Department – our identity has been stolen!
- The IC3 – a US government task force comprised from the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance;
- Our local police department.
Repeated emails to Craigslist, through their online “contact us” form, have not gotten a response. Searching in cities throughout the United States for the ads and flagging them as a scam has been futile. The advertisements been not been removed!
The “consumer advocate” supposedly also contacted Craigslist – but the ads seem to have increased in even more cities throughout the country.
The New Hampshire Justice Department deals with personal identity theft. In this instance, we’re a corporation – not “people”…
The IC3 acknowledged the complaint form we filed… haven’t heard from them since then.
The local police department says no crime in their jurisdiction has been committed.
Today we responded to six emails and three telephone calls – all from people who were trying to confirm that “Bicher” and his cheap airline ticket offer is legitimate. While the number of people who contacted us is not huge, we’re concerned about the people who didn’t double-check before giving away their personal information.
The first person who contacted us and was almost duped by “Bicher’s” offer had this comment:
IF IT’S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY ISN’T!
He posted an ad on Craigslist to denounce the one posted by “Bicher.”
We’ve been contacted by people from cities across the United States, including Seattle, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Boston and Raleigh. We’re out of ideas on how to stop this man from dashing people’s hopes for cheap tickets while taking their credit card information.
We have run out of ideas on how we can put a stop to this fraudulent activity – and warn people who might be responding to the Craigslist ads for $200 cheap airline tickets.
Any suggestions are most welcome!