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E-ticket scam alert

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As China's major air carriers switch over to issuing e-tickets, China Hospitality News reports about a recent criminal case in Kunming that illustrates a serious flaw in the new e-ticketing system. CHN reports:

"The suspect, surnamed Chen, is reported to have pretended to be a salesperson representing a flight ticketing agency, and lured a buyer with a 70% discount into booking 13 round-trip e-tickets between Kunming and Ningbo, which were worth a total of RMB21,480. The buyer said he checked with the airline ticket sales department that night, and confirmed that there was a record for these tickets. But when he checked again later on January 12, he found that those tickets sold by Chen were fake ones."

This kind of scam is possible because ticket purchasers can be fully refunded for returned e-tickets with ticket vouchers, allowing fake ticket agents to return e-tickets for a refund after the would-be buyer has confirmed that their tickets have been purchased.

This kind of scam doesn't appear to be widespread in Kunming at this point, but in general it's a good idea to deal only with trusted ticketing agents and be careful when approached with deals that sound too good to be true.

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