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Crazy Airline Phone Scam! What Is Happening & How to Protect Yourself

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Airline Phone Number Scams

Airline Phone Number Scam

Having problems with your flight can be one of the most stressful things to happen while traveling. This has always been the case, however it seems like things have been even worse these past couple of years. When your flights is delayed or canceled it can become overwhelming quickly as you scramble for alternate transportation, accommodation, etc. The last thing you are probably thinking about is an airline phone number scam.

Delta JFK Phone Scam

Unfortunately it seems you always have to have your guard up, even when using Google. Shmuli Evers recently shared on Twitter an experience he had when trying to rebook his Delta flight at JFK.



As many people do, he Googled a phone number thinking he was reaching Delta to rebook his flight. Unfortunately it seems Google listed the wrong phone number for Delta at JFK and the person on the other end was trying to get information from him.



Thankfully Shmuli caught on to the scam and didn’t give out payment information to the scammer. This person does still have some of his information and could potentially cause issues, but let’s hope not. My guess is they would have used his credit card information for other purchases if they had received that information. I wonder if they would have at least done him the courtesy of rebooking his flight?!

Airline Phone Number Scams – More Airlines Affected

After writing out his story Shmuli also uncovered that several other airline phone numbers for JFK were changed as well. He posted screenshots of American Airlines, Southwest, Air France, Qantas, ITA Airways and Turkish Airlines all showing incorrect numbers. It is possible this is the case in other cities/airports as I am sure Googling an airport along with an airline is probably a popular thing to do.



Since the first tweet was posted it does seem like Google has updated many of these phone numbers to their correct versions. I wonder how easy it is to change something like this with Google and what safeguards they have in place to protect people given our over reliance on Google results. Either way, there is one good way to protect yourself from airline phone number scams.

How to Protect Yourself from Airline Phone Number Scams

When you are in a situation where you need to reach a travel provider the simplest way to ensure you get to the right place is to go directly to their website. Verify the phone number on their website directly so you know they are who they say they are. I often Google phone numbers myself, but taking that next step of clicking through to the provider’s site is a good habit to have. If you are someone who uses a provider often (for example I stay in a lot of Hyatt hotels) then feel free to program their number into your phone for easy access as well.

The other thing you can do is pay attention. It can be easy to just go along with whatever the person is telling you when you are stressed out, but if something doesn’t seem right then you can always hang up, verify the phone number again and call back. I’ve seen some terrible airline agents (and some amazing ones) so whenever something feels off I’ll just call back and hope to reach someone who can help a little better. Even if they aren’t a scammer you may get a better result.

Airline Phone Number Scams – Bottom Line

There isn’t an area of our lives where we don’t have to be proactive in order to avoid getting caught up in a rip off or scam. This rule applies even more when you are in a high-stress scenario. This is where we make mistakes and scammers know that. Make sure to get company phone numbers directly from their website and don’t be afraid to hang up and call back if something seems off.

Have you ever noticed a scam like this? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. A scam in wkich you’re called on your smart- / cellphone, but you don’t recognize the calling number or it’s even a cloaked number.
    In those cases where this occurs: don’t answer the phonecall and delete the called number or when called repeatedly, block the number for ever. Thanks Shawn, for sharing ‘Smuli’s airport scam’, so to speak, because Smuli’s the victim here, ‘almost’.


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