Low cost airline Mango has cautioned South African travellers about online and SMS fraud scams.
The communication follows a discovery that fraudsters are offering airline bookings at discounts via SMS and e-mail to members of the public – and it would appear that fraudulent sales of airline tickets is spread across several airlines.
Mango advises all travellers to ensure bookings are made only through direct contact with airlines or authorised travel agencies or outlets.
"It seems the scam operates via an email sales proposition, promising flexible open-ended travel both domestically and internationally. During the holiday season we have had several instances where members of the public were defrauded in this way,” says Mango's communication manager Hein Kaiser.
“We urge South Africans who intend to travel to ensure that bookings are made only through legitimate channels.”
Kaiser says Mango flights are available through Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper Moneymarket Kiosks, travel agents, the MyMarket booking platform, its www.fllymango.com website and its call centre. Travellers making use of other airlines should check respective distribution channels with airlines directly.
“Mango, along with our peers and the South African Police Service, are currently conducting an investigation into the matter. However, prevention is the first port of call and we urge South Africans to be aware of this fraudulent activity and book only through legitimate channels, and not to pay airfares into private bank accounts.”