According to reports from University police, sixteen (16) international students from Texas A&M were victims of an Internet scam in September costing them almost $17,000. The students were offered to pay amazingly low fares on plane tickets which would save them up to $700 each. The airfare scam was done through a website called Jasmine Travel, which was discovered via a third party search engine www.sulekha.com.
The “agency” took their money and delivered nothing. "Once we received the reports, we worked with the International Student Services to release some information about the scam to students," Lt. Allan Baron said. "For some of these students, this is the only money they have."
Through investigations which were carried out on a search for Jasmine Travel, results showed that the company was located in Jakarta, Indonesia. The students of this vicious internet travel scam where lead to believe by an agent with whom they spoke with that the Travel agency offices were in Forest Hills, New York, and in Los Alamitos, California.
Victims of these type of scams may be able to speak with their credit card companies about these charges, but getting their refund from the “agency” in which they booked their ticket, should they decide to cancel, is usually a lost cause, often called a nightmare or mission-impossible.
Bureau officials are aware of this crime and appeal to other international students residing in Canada and the United States to be on the alert for these types of internet scams offering rock bottom low prices for airfares. Your best strategy is to book your trip in person, through a reputable travel agency or proven legitimate online service like Travelocity or Expedia. Also read through reviews made by existing customers to get a general idea of what others are saying about the company.use other review websites and BBB.org to get a second opinion. Look out for bad grammar and spelling which could also show it is a fake review.
Things to look out for with these types of deal:
- Saving a great amount on airfare that normally costs a lot. For example paying $250 for a plane ticket which typically cost $2000.
- The agent or representative is encouraging you to secure your ticket today or the offer expires that evening.
- The company's website only has a toll-free number with no physical address.
- If a physical address is presented sometimes they are copied from reputable companies.
If you are a victim of this crime it is recommended that you contact local a law enforcement agency to file a report.