Leisure Travel agencies typically experience fraud either by clients using stolen credit cards or by causing a charge back after they travelled. This is one of the reasons the travel industry has a low credit rating.
Customer fraud has increased significantly in recent years due to use of the internet to research and book travel. It is becoming more unlikely that an agency knows the person booking the travel or even will meet the client face to face. Obviously there are certain behaviours during the booking process either by email or phone that should trigger caution. These would include:
- a suspicious email account – for example firstname.lastname@example.org
- emails contains poor English or bad spelling
- caller is not local or from overseas or caller ID not available (not applicable when using 1300 or 1 800 numbers)
- Client doesn’t quibble over the price
- Highly flexible travel schedule or budget
- Client references airport codes instead of city names (e.g. asking for LAX to LOS instead of Los Angeles to Lagos, Nigeria)
- and more..
Be alert not alarmed
Verifying suspicious scenarios is the best action to avoid fraud, but, no matter how vigilant your consultants are, some bookings may pass through that warrant investigation.
Some suspicious activity can be identified through customer reporting or Business Intelligence using alerts and management dashboards. If you have a BI solution, consider creating a management dashboard with some of the alerts below:
- Last-minute bookings i.e. booking date is less than 3 days from travel date
- Client has no local address
- Flights originate outside the country or are international-to-international
- Passenger is not the credit cardholder, especially if the booking is of high value
- A single credit card has been used to pay for several routings, travel dates, and passenger last names
- Booking is made up of several different credit card payments
- Client uses a religious/medical title (“Pastor Robert” or “Doctor Smith”) or religious premise (missionary work) to establish credibility or empathy
If you are a Tramada client pay attention to the Credit Card Report and consider using the tramada® Payment Gateway to process credit cards payments online within the secure PCI DSS compliant tramada® environment. Our Payment Gateway partner, Mint Payments, solutions are audited and certified to bank, PCI and Schemes (Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Diners) standards and international payment regulation levels. Mint also offers an integrated anti-fraud solution as an additional service for customers selling online. This especially relevant for OTA’s.