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November 28, 2014

118 arrested for online airline fraud

Scammers attempting to buy tickets fraudulently and steal credit card information.

By Jimmy Nicholls

118 people have been arrested by global police in connection with airline fraud online, in action co-ordinated by Europol, Ameripol and Interpol.

A coalition of credit card and airline companies narrowed down 281 suspicious transactions as part of the effort, which was intended to combat fraudulent plane ticket purchases and the theft of credit card data.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, said "This operation is another example of law enforcement and the private sector working seamlessly together, to prevent and fight cybercrime – this time identity theft and credit card fraud.

"We are reaching new levels with our cooperation and aim to become an ‘unbeatable alliance’ with aspirations to make cyberspace as crime free as possible for global citizens."

Some of those arrested had been detained in previous action against online fraud, and were described by Europol as "repeat offenders".

The operation took months of planning to bring about, and coincided with the launch of Global Airport Action, an initiative enabling co-operation between airport security across the world.

"Airlines are fighting credit card fraud on their ticket sales on daily basis. It is clear to the airlines that they are up against organised crime in this fight," said Meta Backman, chair of the European Airlines Fraud Prevention Group.

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"Airlines are depending on card issuing banks to obtain confirmation of fraudulent use of credit cards. Without confirmation, airlines cannot report the crime to law enforcement."

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