Don’t Fall For This Increasingly Common Airline Scam: A DansDeals Follower Goes Viral Sharing His Warning About Using Google For Airline Contact Info

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For some time now, scammy travel agencies have exploited Google to get the search company to display the wrong results or fake ads when you’re trying to find a phone number for an airline.

DDF members have encountered this several times and DDF admin and Jewgler @BAHayman has flagged several of these ads and bad search results to Google for further review and removal.

Shmuli Evers posted on Twitter yesterday and tagged @DansDeals about his experience. His tweets have now gone viral as people learn about this scam:








Shmuli is right, airlines make it too hard to find their contact information.

But it’s a good reminder not to rely on Google search results for airline contact information, or any contact information for that matter. Take the time and go directly to the source website or app for contact info, then save the contact on your phone.

Of course, the same thing applies to looking up the number and mistyping a digit. I have reached fake call centers that squat on numbers that are one digit off. Be sure to listen closely for cues that you may not be talking to the airline that you were trying to reach.

Or better yet, just try Tweeting via Direct Message or chatting with your airline.

Have you ever been connected to a scam call center?

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67 Comments On "Don’t Fall For This Increasingly Common Airline Scam: A DansDeals Follower Goes Viral Sharing His Warning About Using Google For Airline Contact Info"

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Wow, that’s nuts!


My flight was also cancelled out of JFK yesterday 🙁
Good to know about these scammers!


As was mine. It was JFK to Boston so I drove instead.


Nah mine was JFK to FLL. It booked as two separate tickets. Delta was giving me a real hassle about cancelling the return trip. This still have my checked bag. No idea when I’ll get that .


Yes, this has happened to me too – I realized that something was super fishy before I gave over any payment info, but was still concerned about what they might do with my reservation number and name, so I called Delta and “froze” my reservation – curious if that was necessary.
It is super easy to fall for this – when someone has to contact an airline, they usually take the “easy” way by Googling the number (sometimes calling is just more practical than tweeting/chatting), not by going to the website and finding the contact number – as mentioned above, it can be really hard to find!


This happened to me as well. We called “American airlines”to buy an infant ticket.
We realized after hiving payment info.
We called the credit card company and cancelled the card.
They used our reservation number to cancel our non refundable tickets.
Definitely a good thing you froze your reservation.


This happened to me about 2 years ago. Crazy to think it’s still happening.


it’s actually pretty crazy, happened to me last summer. my son was flying turkish from TLV to MIA, flight got diverted to izmir due to bad storms. long story short, i got scammed for over 2K to get him home. i was up for over 36 hours straight & was not thinking straight, just wanted to get him home on time for shabbos for my son’s bar mitzvah. tried fighting it with no luck. live & learn but the main thing is that he got home safe.

Air Canada has terrible service

I DM Air Canada through their Twitter account 2 weeks ago…
Still waitinfor a response…


You’ll never hear from them. Their twitter account is useless.


Or call from the airline’s app.


I was taken in by one of these scammers, took me 3 months to chargeback with my credit card, was only successful because I had gotten them to commit in writing to a full refund. Was terrible experience.


the regular delta number is not less of a scam


Shame on Google that they don’t crack down on these scammers!
Even worse goes when trying to apply for an ESTA or Canadian ETA. Unlearned people fall into the trap of paying exorbitant “service fees” when applying online. Why does Google allow anyone other than the CBP website to come up as the first result when searching “how to apply for an ESTA”?
The correct legit website is only the FIFTH result. Google is being PAID by these scammers to post those results first, and they get away with this…..


There ought to be a law. Really. As long as the large companies make money, they seem to be callous to their users and customers.

Root 9

The customers of these companies are not the users. They are the product that is sold to the real customers, the ones who pay for ads.


I never considered this type of manipulation was possible. Thanks for the heads up.


everyone should call the scam numbers and tie up their lines / resources


Similar incident happened with my brother in law when he googled Enterprise to rent a car. The number was fake and the ‘agent’ found an ‘amazing’ deal that needed to be paid with a gift card over the phone…


If anyone wants to go down a fun rabbit hole look up Mike Rober on YouTube he fights back against these Indian scam call centers, endlessly entertaining. Several other big youtubers do as well including Pierogi that shmuli tagged


I had the unfortunate experience of calling what I thought was the airline to change flights for my whole family. When the “airline rep” started negotiating the change fee, I immediately became suspicious and refused to give my payment details. However, OUT OF SPITE, the scammer on the other end of the line had my last name and booking reference and that’s all they needed to cancel my non-refundable tickets! The actual airline was completely unsympathetic as they said it was me who had canceled and in the end it was a hard lesson learned.


My wife once called instead of and got an Indian. She wanted to cancel her hotel room and he said she owed money to cancel and demanded a credit card. She asked me and I told her to hang up. does not charge to cancel a room. They already have your credit card number anyway.


Almost had a similar experience with McAfee anti-virus. It wasn’t working properly so I googled the number and called. The rep was about to remote in to my computer when I realized I was not on the phone with actual McAfee and ended the call. When I eventually found the real number and called McAfee they acknowledged that this is a problem and that their number is buried deep within their website. Many websites make you work very hard to find their phone number.


My brother was scammed a while ago because of this.

How about an airline contact directory on Dan’s deals?

Satmar lib

Google is full of ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’, the democrats two favorite terms.


Are you saying google is liberal and blaming democrats for this? Or are you saying it’s only democrats who care about misinformation? Both are ridiculous. How about you get out of your political bubble and stop trying to turn everything into democrats versus republicans. People like you ruin every discussion.


I had a very similar experience ! I got a number for an airline online to book a bassinet seat and they scammed me. Thank Gd was only $150!

Truly Evil People

Happened to me and my family when I was sitting shiva for my mother…Our Southwest flight was delayed, my wife googled their number. Chase wouldn’t allow us to dispute the charges…


only amex!!


Yes! A family member was very nearly scammed out of $1200 recently. Fake United Airlines number. Fortunately he realized something was fishy at the last moment. Seems like a growing problem.


You would think a huge company like google would have better security protocols in place. How do they not have teams on this.


Yup. Happened to my elderly boss who wanted to cancel a flight at the weekend and Google the number.. He told me take their call and give them his credit card number. I said hmm his first class ticket shouldn’t have a fee to cancel …and a girl we know. We send a lot of students to Israel. She then got scammed further on her bank which we pointed out was scam and she got the money back.
My boss they called for the credit card number. I asked for a call back number, in case we got disconnected, realizing he had been scammed and called that number from a different phone and a local playgroup answered


One further point. This websites look legit. Tried them to see where it was obviously a scam. If u click in the pics eg advertising London, Paris, it takes ur straight back to the same webpage!!!

Another Cue

Another sign is not being on hold for an hour!!!!!

indian accent

How am I supposed to know if its a scam or authentic when I call Air India????? 🙂


You are adding nothing to the conversation. The vast majority of Indians are not scammers. I just spent time on the phone with an authentic Marriott rep from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh to change dates on a hotel stay; yes she was harder to understand at times, but everything worked out.

I know you are probably joking, but it is mean spirited. If you can’t use common sense to figure scams out, you have bigger problems.

I don’t know what religion you do or don’t follow, but in the Bible (the one written by the Creator) it is very clear that belittling people is frowned upon.


chill bro


I think it was a cute comment to make as im getting fired up at the idea that there are so many sick people taking advantage of innocent flyers. This coment cooled me down and let me smile for a second before continuing…


I’m not religious and mocking Indians for this is bad whether you believe in the Bible or not.


Same thing happened to me back in February with SwissAir. Thankfully I got my money back after I agreed to them finding me a new flight


Looks like for now these toll free numbers are closed down


why are these charges considered ligit

Sandy Epstein

I was scammed twice. Once with United bec Google
had a number with their logo & claimed there’s no wait. Got charged Extra $250.- for each name on my reservation to change mis spelling of our last name (even though only 1 person’s name was wrong.). Another scam: booked apt in Vancouver thru BOOKING.COM & , although it looked totally legit, we got to the right address, followed all the instructions, & it was a total fraud. No apartment existed, no one answered our emails or phone calls & we got an email saying our reservation was canceled on the morning of our flight, stating that our credit card was invalid (even tho it was already paid for on my AMEX acct a month before ) I believe Booking. Com located in the Netherlands is the culprit. There has to be some accountability for these websites passing as reliable when they cause so much aggravation to innocent people. Thank goodness AMEX stand behind us but straightening out these messes aren’t fun.


Wow! Thanks for that information!


I just replied in twitter but this similar thing happened to me as well. In my case I was trying to book 6 tickets from LAX to TLV with AirCanada. There was an issue on their website (price got adjusted mid booking) so I wanted to call to see if they can give me the original price. I googled air canada and first results was “Air Canada Reservations” with a clickable 1888 to call only later I found out that it was actually a google ad. When I called the number they answered super fast which put me on alert so I asked they person if this is air canada he told that they work with air canada and that when air canada call centers are busy they route calls through them.. (figured something was up) but as we kept talking the person really tried to help us out and sent legitimate reservations and flights kept making sure everything is clear and answered all my questions. I ended up purchasing the tickets from them. the charges on my credit card showed AirCanada and the ticket numbers and everything. I got confirmation and all and even call to reserve a kosher meal. Everything was looking legit.

At the day of check-in we arrived (family of 6) to the airport 3 hours before the flight and this is when the air canada rep told me there is an issue with the tickets.. I don’t think it was a scam but something was off. I called orbtickets and had them speak to the rep they tried to explain that everything should be ok but the AirCanada system just won’t allow us to check-in.

This took forever and we ended up missing the flight. AirCanada told us we must purchase new tickets because they can’t use the existing ones (they did see them on their system but it was all mark with fraud) I still not sure what really happened I ended up disputing the original charges and got my money back but still. The AirCanada rep said it happens a lot and recommended purchasing from the airlines directly to avoid issues in the future. They even said sometimes tickets from legit places like expedia are having similar issues.

Lesson learned. With the points and stuff I assume we can trust chase travel (even though it’s powered by expedia) and for everything else just use the airlines directly.


I searched online for Australia ETA information a few nights ago and had a heck of a time wading through non-official / junk ad sites. It’s been almost ten years since my last trip down there so I couldn’t remember exactly where to apply. Be sure you’re on the website!


Can you publish a list of the legit numbers of the 10-15 most flied airlines somewhere on your site?


Thanks Dan!

Sheila Ford

Thanks Dan. Any problems using Google itself, and not the maps?


Just had that today. When Googling “Delta Airlines Customer service phone number” 800-212-1212 was the result which is an inactive number.


this happened to me too with lufthansa, actually sent them money kudos to chase and barclays for refunding me! brings back trauma just reading this post


The NY Post just reported a story on this. Even if you don’t give a cc number they can still scam you.