BBB Tip: How to avoid purchasing fake tickets to events | Business

As another Texas summer with record-breaking heat ends and the beginning of the fall season approaches, many people will be looking to get out and enjoy themselves at various events across the state. Residents may be planning to watch their favorite sports team compete this season or attend a concert featuring a famous musician. With the prices of tickets to major events increasing and the ever-present threat of con artists capitalizing on marketplace trends, BBB recommends consumers exercise caution when searching for and purchasing tickets to their next event.

While most people know to be careful when purchasing tickets off a third-party website or reseller, recent reports to BBB Scam Tracker show a concerning trend of scammers disguising themselves as reputable ticket sellers when interacting with the victim. These schemes often leverage the credibility of companies such as Ticketmaster to convince victims to provide payment for tickets that are either fake, for the wrong event or priced significantly higher than the going rate. Some may also advertise discounted tickets for high-priced seats or sections, which turns out to be false once the tickets are received, or the purchaser arrives at the venue.

In many worst-case scenarios, a consumer who is provided a fake ticket plans an entire weekend around the event, including travel costs and a hotel room, only to be turned away at the entrance. Victims may also find that the credit or debit card used to pay for the tickets has a series of charges they do not recognize, resulting in them having to cancel the card and dispute those transactions with their bank to varying degrees of success.

To help prevent fraudulent sellers from interrupting your event plans, Better Business Bureau provides the following tips:

  • Purchase directly from the venue whenever possible. Many consumers automatically go to a secondary resale market to purchase tickets for an upcoming event before first checking with the venue. Going directly to the venue may not only save money but is also a way to ensure that a purchase is for a valid ticket. Venues also often include what secondary resale organization they are listing their tickets on, giving consumers an additional layer of protection from purchasing fake tickets.
  • Consider your source. There is a significant difference between purchasing a ticket from a professional ticket broker and a ticket scalper. While dealing with the latter may result in obtaining valid tickets, the risk of encountering a scammer is significantly greater. Always exercise caution when purchasing from sources that are not members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) or Better Business Bureau.
  • Research the seller/broker. Brokers who are members of NATB offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets, protecting consumers that use their services. Visit to confirm you are interacting with a NATB-member resale company.
  • Check for website encryption. It is good practice to always check for the lock symbol in the website address, indicating a secured system is enabled on the site. BBB strongly recommends against giving any banking information to websites that are not secured.
  • Know the refund policy. Only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that clearly details the purchase terms. Avoid sellers who do not disclose where the seats are located or where purchasers can pick up tickets. If the deal seems “too good to be true,” trust your instincts and thoroughly investigate the seller before purchasing tickets.
  • Use protected payment options. Debit or gift cards, mobile banking apps and cash transactions are risky due to difficulties recovering money if the tickets are fake. BBB recommends using credit cards for all online purchases due to the additional protections they offer consumers to obtain a refund.
  • Verify tickets. If you doubt the authenticity of a purchased ticket, present it to the “Will Call” or customer service center of the event venue. They will inform you if it is legitimate or explain how a legitimate ticket for their venue should look.

If you have been a victim of a fake ticket scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Information provided could prevent another person from falling victim.

For more information about ticket scams, visit

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China Truckers Use Fake Travel Records, ‘Clean’ Drivers to Dodge COVID Rules | World News

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese truck drivers hoping to outwit COVID-19 inspectors are faking travel histories to get through checkpoints or avoid quarantine, state media reported, as weary citizens struggle with restrictions more than two years after the pandemic began.

While some truckers try to use hi-tech sleight of hand to dodge the restrictions, some desperate travellers are simply trying to hide in their cars to get where they want to go.

Authorities across China have tightened COVID curbs this month as the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreads, triggering lockdowns in Shanghai and the whole province of Jilin.

Many regional authorities have barred travellers, including long-distance truck drivers, from high-risk areas, while some have to spend time in quarantine, complicating lives and disrupting China’s sprawling transport system.

Not surprisingly, there are people who try to game the system.

Political Cartoons on World Leaders

In Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province and a major northeastern transport hub, nearly 100 truckers have been punished for trying to trick inspectors with mobile phones loaded with fake travel histories, state media reported.

Often one phone, tucked away, contains a driver’s real travel history, including locations with positive COVID cases marked with a star, while another phone, ready for presentation at checkpoints, shows a fake travel history with not a star in sight.

Truckers for a logistics company aiming to get into another Liaoning city were caught trying to key phone numbers of people with “clean” travel histories, provided by their employer, into their phones to fool inspectors, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Some travellers hoping to reach the capital, Beijing, have hired substitute drivers with untainted travel histories to drive their vehicles through checkpoints, while they sneak through the woods beside the road on foot to reclaim their cars on the other side, authorities said.

Substitute drivers can earn up to 2,000 yuan ($315) per trip, the Beijing city government said this week.

Other travellers resort to just trying hiding in their cars to get through checkpoints, it said.

Last week, a traveller returning to Jiaxing city, near Shanghai, got a substitute driver to help him get there.

He was confirmed to be a coronavirus positive a few days later, police said.

($1 = 6.3552 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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Putin ‘fake’ news ban; oligarch’s yacht detained


Editor’s note: This page recaps the news from Ukraine on Friday, March 4. Follow here for the latest updates and news from Saturday, March 5, as Russia’s invasion continues.

The Russian advance on Kyiv remained largely stalled on Friday while a fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant was extinguished following a Kremlin attack that drew worldwide condemnation.

Other Russian offensives were pushing ahead. An armed force in southern Ukraine made significant gains in an attempt to cut off access to the sea.

The attack on the Zaporizhzhia power plant facility caused a fire and widespread fears of a disaster similar to the 1986 Chernobyl accident, which occurred about 65 miles north of the Ukrainian capital. Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine tweeted, “If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chornobyl!”

There were no indications of radiation leaking, according to a senior U.S. Defense Department official. Nuclear power plants are not designed to withstand military attacks, underscoring the recklessness of the assault, added the official, who discussed intelligence reports on condition of anonymity.

The Russians apparently captured the plant with an eye toward controlling the Ukrainian population, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said. Operating the plant would allow them to deliver power, or to withhold it to punish Ukrainians.  

At an emergency Security Council meeting after the attack, Ukraine’s U.N. ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya accused Russia of committing “an act of nuclear terrorism.”

He told the council his Russian counterpart was lying over a claim that a “Ukrainian sabotage group” was responsible for setting fire to a training facility at the plant. He said several buildings were damaged and one part of the facility was experiencing an outage.

Meanwhile, the Russian advance on the capital of Kyiv remained largely stalled about 15 miles from the city center, the official said. Ukrainian forces have hindered its progress by blowing up a key bridge and attacking vehicles in the convoy that stretches for 40 miles. Though bogged down, the Russians continue to shell Ukrainian cities, striking residential areas and civilian infrastructure, the official said.

— Tom Vanden Brook, Ryan Miller and Christal Hayes 

Latest developments:

►Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will talk to U.S. senators on a video conference call Saturday morning, according to a person familiar with the invitation from the Ukrainian embassy.

► A Russian major general was killed in action fighting in Ukraine, a blow to the Kremlin and a rare occurrence for such a senior military official. Maj. Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky, the commanding general of the Russian 7th Airborne Division, was killed earlier this week. The death was a rarity in modern times. Since the end of the Vietnam War, only one U.S. general has died in a combat zone. Maj. Gen. Harold Greene died in Afghanistan in 2015. 

► Ukraine’s military has begun enlisting civilian drone pilots to help with surveillance in the effort to repel Russia’s invasion. Armed forces leaders have asked enthusiasts to donate aircraft and, if they are experienced flyers, to volunteer as pilots. 

►NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Russian forces had used cluster bombs and that the organization had “seen reports of the use of other types of weapons which would be in violation of international law,” calling it “inhumane.” 

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Facebook the country’s navy intentionally sank its flagship frigate, Hetman Sagaidachny, which was under repair, to prevent Russian capture.

►Talks on Thursday between Russia and Ukraine yielded a tentative agreement to set up safe corridors to evacuate citizens and deliver humanitarian aid.

►The Pentagon said it established a direct communication line Tuesday with the Russian ministry of defense “for the purpose of preventing miscalculation, military incidents, and escalation.”

Ukraine-born film star Mila Kunis and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, announced Friday they are launching a GoFundMe account to provide aid and shelter for the war-ravaged nation, and will match up to $3 million in contributions. According to Global News, Kunis said she takes pride in being an American, “but today I have never been more proud to be a Ukranian.”

Quick links:

GET THE LATEST UKRAINE UPDATES: We’ll email you the latest news once a day

VISUALS: Mapping and tracking Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

‘BOMBS, BOMBS, BOMBS’: Ukrainian refugees describe harrowing journey to Poland

WHAT IS AN ARMISTICE? Here’s what you need to know during talks between Russia and Ukraine

The Russian military will observe a ceasefire in two areas of Ukraine starting Saturday to allow civilians to evacuate, Russian state media reported, but there was no immediate confirmation from Ukraine. It would be the first breakthrough in allowing civilians to escape the war.

The Russian Defense Ministry statement said it has agreed on evacuation routes with Ukrainian forces to allow civilians to leave the strategic port of Mariupol in the southeast and the eastern town of Volnovakha “from 10 a.m. Moscow time.” It was not immediately clear from the vaguely worded statement how long the routes would remain open.

The head of Ukraine’s security council, Oleksiy Danilov, had called on Russia to create humanitarian corridors to allow children, women and the elderly to escape the fighting, calling such corridors “question No. 1.”

— Associated Press

A billionaire’s superyacht was detained Friday by Italian authorities in furtherance of European Union sanctions levied against oligarchs stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

According to the Bloomberg, a 215-foot vessel named “Lady M,” owned by Alexei Mordashov, was docked in Imperia, a Ligurian Sea port near the French border.

Mordashov is among six Russians who were targeted for sanctions on Monday by the European Union. He is the primary shareholder and chairman of Severstal, a Russian company, with holdings in television, energy and mining, and was recently listed by Forbes as the second-wealthiest person in Russia. Earlier this week, he told the Russian news agency, TASS, he did not understand why he’s been targeted, claiming he has “absolutely nothing to do with the emergence of the current geopolitical tension.” 

— Dennis Wagner

Pence: No room in GOP for ‘Putin apologists’

Former Vice President Mike Pence told Republicans “there is no room in this party for apologists for Putin” during an event with the party’s top donors.

Pence directed his comments toward members of the GOP who have failed to take Russian President Vladimir Putin to task for his brutal assault on Ukraine. Pence urged the party to move on from the 2020 presidential election.

“Where would Russian tanks be today if NATO had not expanded the borders of freedom? There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” Pence said. “There is only room for champions of freedom.”

— Chelsey Cox

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a rousing speech on video to crowds of demonstrators Friday night in major European cities.

Zelenskyy urged listeners to rally behind Ukraine in its resistance against Russian invaders, telling them, “Don’t turn a blind eye to this… If we fall, you fall. And if we win — and I’m sure we will win — this will be a victory for the whole democratic world.”

The video was shown in Paris, Frankfurt and Lyon, among other cities. In Prague, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, footage posted on social media showed throngs of pro-Ukraine demonstrators filling several blocks, cheering as Zelenskyy spoke.

— Dennis Wagner

Sky News journalists fired on by Russian forces

A British news team in Kyiv came under fire this week from what they reported was a Russian “death squad” as they attempted to cover the war in Ukraine’s capital.  

Sky News chief correspondent Stuart Ramsey was wounded during the ambush and a camera operator took two bullets to his body armor despite repeatedly identifying themselves as media.

A harrowing video of the incident shows the five-person crew motoring along a deserted, war-torn street when their vehicle is disabled by an explosion. Gunfire erupts and the windshield is shattered as they repeatedly cry out, “Press!” 

“Somehow, we’ve got to get out of there, but the bullets keep coming,” Ramsey says on the video. Shots continue for nearly three minutes before the journalists manage to escape down an embankment and into a nearby warehouse. Sky News’ website does not identify the date of the incident or the severity of Ramsey’s wound but says team members have returned safely to the United Kingdom.

— Dennis Wagner

Vice President Kamala Harris is heading to Poland and Romania to demonstrate NATO strength and unity and show U.S. support for the alliance’s eastern flank in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Harris will travel next Wednesday through Friday to Warsaw and Bucharest for meetings with the leaders of Poland and Romania. The leaders are expected to discuss continuing support for the people of Ukraine through security, economic and humanitarian assistance and the decision to impose severe economic consequences on Russia and those complicit in the invasion, the vice president’s office said.

“The vice president’s meetings will also focus on how the United States can further support Ukraine’s neighbors as they welcome and care for refugees fleeing violence,” Harris’ spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said.

— Michael Collins

The White House said Friday it was weighing a ban on Russian oil imports amid growing bipartisan calls for President Joe Biden to sanction Russia’s energy sector as Vladimir Putin escalates fighting in Ukraine.

“We are looking at options we could take right now to cut U.S. consumption of Russian energy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “But we are very focused on minimizing the impact of families. If you reduce supply in the global marketplace, you are going to rise raise gas prices.”

By leaving open a ban on Russian oil imports, the White House softened its stance from Thursday when Psaki rejected the idea for being against the “strategic interest” of the U.S.

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on Thursday introduced the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, which would prohibit the importation of Russian crude oil, petroleum, liquefied natural as and coal from Russia. The legislation has 16 additional Senate co-sponsors spanning both parties.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she also supports the bill. “I’m all for that. Ban it,” the speaker said Thursday.

In 2021, the U.S. imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Russia, according to the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, accounting for 3% of all U.S. crude oil imports and 1 percent of the total crude oil produced by American refineries.

— Joey Garrison

White House press secretary Jen Psaki categorically rejected an idea posed by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham that implied someone in Russia should assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“No, we are not advocating for killing the leader of a foreign country or a regime change,” Psaki said during a press briefing. “That is not the policy of the United States.”

In his tweet, Graham called for someone to “take this guy out,” in reference to Putin and said it would be a “great service” to Russia and the world at large. 

“That is not the position of the United States government and certainly not a statement you’d hear come from the mouth of anybody working in this administration,” Psaki told reporters.

— Chelsey Cox

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill introducing a prison sentence of up to 15 years for spreading information that goes against the Russian government’s position on the war in Ukraine.

The bill criminalizing the intentional spreading of what Russia deems to be “fake” reports about the war was quickly rubber-stamped by both houses of the Kremlin-controlled parliament earlier Friday.

The new law led to a a slew of prominent outlets announcing the suspension of the work of its journalists in the country, including CNN, Bloomberg News, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the BBC.

“The legislation appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism,” Tim Davis, BBC’s publications director said. “It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspect the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development.” 

Russian authorities have repeatedly decried reports of Russian military setbacks or civilian deaths in Ukraine as “fake” reports. State media outlets refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” rather than a “war” or “invasion.”

The law includes sentences of up to three years or fines for spreading what authorities deem to be false news about the military, but the maximum punishment rises to 15 years for cases deemed to have led to “severe consequences.” 

Russia’s media regulator made back-to-back announcements Friday that it was blocking access to both Facebook and Twitter across the country. 

The news came amid a crackdown on media sources in Russia as the country passed a law allowing for 15-year prison sentences for intentionally spreading “fake” information about military action.

Russian communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, said it cut access to Facebook over its alleged “discrimination” of the Russian media and state information resources. It said the restrictions introduced by Facebook owner Meta on the RT and other state-controlled media violate Russian law.

The agency followed up with cutting access to Twitter to be in line with the Russian Prosecutor General’s office decision. The watchdog has previously accused Twitter of failing to delete the content banned by the Russian authorities and slowed down access to it.

“We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action,” said Nick Clegg, president for global affairs for Facebook’s parent company Meta.

Clegg said Monday the company wasn’t pulling its platforms from Russia on its own accord because Russian people were using them to protest the war. Clegg said Russia had been “throttling” the platform, though, to prevent protests.

More than 1.2 million refugees have fled from Ukraine since the conflict began, the United Nations’ refugee agency said Friday.

Thursday, more than 165,000 people left the country, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Most leaving are women, children and older people , said spokesperson Shabia Mantoo, and the majority are fleeing to Poland, though others have gone to Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania. Some have also fled to Russia and Belarus.

However, an increasing number of reports indicate people of color fleeing Ukraine are facing discrimination at the border. The crisis highlights a double standard in the way nations treat refugees based on country of origin, race, religion and more, academics and refugees say. Many of the same European nations that turned away refugees from the Middle East, Africa and Asia in the past are now largely welcoming refugees from Ukraine.

— Ryan Miller and Grace Hauck

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a defiant and emotional speech, condemned NATO over its refusal to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine and said the move would only embolden Russia. 

“All the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your lack of unity,” he said in a nighttime address. “The alliance has given the green light to the bombing of Ukrainian cities and villages by refusing to create a no-fly zone.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday the military organization would not implement a no-fly zone or place troops on the ground in Ukraine over fears it could provoke widespread war throughout Europe with nuclear-armed Russia. 

“Allies agree that we should not have NATO planes operating over Ukrainian airspace or NATO troops on Ukrainian territory,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels after chairing a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, describing it as a “painful decision.”

Stoltenberg said bringing NATO troops or planes to Ukraine would only further escalate the conflict and bring about more destruction. “If we did that, we’d end up with something that that could end in a full fledged war in Europe involving many more countries and causing much more human suffering,” he added.

A three-person expert panel will monitor potential human rights violations in Ukraine after an overwhelming vote from the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.

The U.N.’s top human rights body voted 32-2, with 13 abstentions, to create the international panel. Only Russia and Eritrea opposed the resolution, with China abstaining.

In a tweet, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the creation of the panel, saying, “Russian war criminals will be held accountable.” 

International law experts have raised concerns about war crimes, including the targeting of civilians, and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which is separate from the U.N., said earlier this week he was also opening an investigation.

The office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will seek an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting after Russian troops in Ukraine attacked a nuclear power plant and sparked a fire.

Johnson’s office says he spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the early hours of the morning. He says Britain will raise the issue immediately with Russia and close partners. 

“The Prime Minister said the reckless actions of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin could now directly threaten the safety of all of Europe,” Johnson’s office said in a statement. “He said (the United Kingdom) would do everything it could to ensure the situation did not deteriorate further.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he also spoke with Zelenskyy about the attacks on the power plant. 

“These unacceptable attacks by Russia must cease immediately,” he said on Twitter.

China also said it is “seriously concerned about the safety and security” of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced temporary protected status (TPS) for Ukrainians living in the United States, which will shield them from deportation for the next 18 months, as Ukraine battles ongoing attacks from Russia.

“Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States.”

Individuals must have continuously lived in the U.S. since March 1 to be eligible for TPS, DHS said. That would apply to approximately 30,000 Ukrainian nationals. Those who attempt to travel to the U.S. after March 1 do not qualify for TPS. 

— Rebecca Morin

Contributing: The Associated Press

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Fake vaccine cards, will travel: People confess to using counterfeit cards to their travel advisers

Raoul Fokke, an Amsterdam-based travel adviser for Act of Travel, was meeting with a prospective client in-person to get a better sense of his interests and travel style. The Dutch traveler, who wanted to take a trip either to Dubai, Portugal or Italy, told Fokke that while he didn’t want to get vaccinated, he had someone who could arrange documents to bypass travel restrictions.

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Travel agent under investigation over allegations it was selling fake Covid-19 certificates

A travel agent is under investigation over allegations that it sold fake Covid-19 travel certificates to customers.

Bolton council says ‘a substantial number of fraudulent documents’ were found when its trading standards officers raided the business.

It is alleged that the Bolton -based travel agent, which has not been named, was selling certificates of negative PCR test results claiming to be from a legitimate test clinic.

READ MORE: Life on the Salford streets where families live one bill away from disaster

Items seized from the travel agent’s premises will now be analysed as the council investigates the scale of the alleged activity.

Some countries require visitors from England to provide proof of a negative PCR Covid-19 test before they are allowed entry.

PCR test results are processed in a laboratory and are seen as the “gold standard” in COVID testing.

Bolton council says its trading standards officers found a ‘substantial number of fraudulent documents’ when they raided the business

Tests for travel are not available on the NHS and must be purchased from a private provider.

Bolton Council’s deputy leader, Coun Hilary Fairclough, said: “Not only has this raid exposed a serious case of fraud, but the quick actions of our Trading Standards team have potentially prevented hundreds more trips facilitated by fake documents.

“It is difficult to overstate the damage that has been caused here: a legitimate business has faced reputational risk and travellers may have been unwittingly spreading a deadly virus.

“At a time when the community has pulled together to fight COVID-19 and keep everyone safe, it is shocking that a small minority have exploited the system for personal profit.

“Once again a successful operation has come about following a tip-off, highlighting that our Trading Standards team works best with the support of residents and legitimate businesses.”

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Watch out for fake airfare sites when booking your summer vacation

With the COVID-19 vaccines rolling out, travel is coming back. That’s great news for summer vacation plans… and scammers. BBB Scam Tracker is receiving reports of con artists creating fake airline ticket booking sites or cutomer service numbers. If you are buying airfare, use caution and double check the URL or phone number before providing your credit card information.

How the Scam Works

While doing an online search for cheap flights, you come across what seems like a great deal with a major airline. You book the flight—either through the website or by calling a customer support number—and receive a confirmation message. However, when you look more closely at the email, you notice that you never actually received your ticket.

In another version of this scam, you book a flight on a travel website offering deals on airfare. You pay with your credit card like normal. But shortly after making the payment, you receive a call from the company saying that there’s been a sudden price increase or an extra charge to finalize your booking. This is something a legitimate company would never do! 

In either case, you call the airline to follow up about your flight. After talking to an agent, you find that they have no record of your booking. It turns out you accidentally purchased tickets through a scam website or a phony customer service number.  One victim told BBB Scam Tracker: “I received a phone call right after [I booked the flight] stating that they wanted $100 per passenger to finalize my flight.” Then, after calling the airline to complain, the victim discovered that “the flight wasnt available to begin with. The flight was never booked… this company just charged my card.” 

How to Avoid Travel Scams

  • Do your research. If you come across a company you haven’t dealt with before, research it before making any purchases. Look on for reviews and feedback from previous customers.
  • Double check the URL before you enter personal and payment information.It can be easy to click on a sponsored ad or imposter website without noticing. Before you enter any sensitive information, double check that you are on the right website and that the link is secure. (Secure links start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase page. Learn more at
  • Be wary of third-party websites. Some websites appear to offer a legitimate service but are only fronts for a scam. Be suspicious of websites with no working customer service number and no physical address. Typos and grammatical errors can be indications of a scammer’s handiwork, too.
  • Make online purchases with your credit card. Fraudulent charges made on a credit card can usually be disputed, whereas that might not be the case with other payment methods. Unfortunately, there is no way to get back the personal information you may have shared. 

For More Information

To learn more about planning a getaway during COVID-19, check out this tip from BBB. For ways to protect yourself from travel scams, go to Read more about customer service number scams.

Stay one step ahead of scammers by subscribing to BBB’s weekly Scam Alert emails

If you’ve been a victim of an airline ticket or other travel scam, please report your experience at By doing so you can help others to avoid falling prey to scammers.

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Man buys whiskey and donuts with fake $100 bill in Greene County.


March 25
Arna's Food Mart near I-44 and Haseltine Road, south of the Flying J.
March 25
Arna’s Food Mart near I-44 and Haseltine Road, south of the Flying J.(Greene County Sheriff’s Office)

In this week’s Catch a Crook, deputies are investigating a counterfeit money case. They’re looking for a man who used a fake $100 bill to buy liquor from a Greene County convenience store.

March 25 just after 6:00 a.m.
Arna's Food Mart
March 25 just after 6:00 a.m.
Arna’s Food Mart(Greene County Sheriff’s Office)

On March 25, a man wearing a camouflage coat, jeans, dark running shoes, and a Route 66 hat walked into Arna’s Food Mart just after 6:00 a.m. It’s located in the 4900 block of West Chestnut Expressway in Springfield, Missouri. The convenience store is near I-44 and South Haseltine Road, south of the Flying J Travel Center.

Detectives say the man has a large tattoo on the right side of his neck.
Detectives say the man has a large tattoo on the right side of his neck.(Greene County Sheriff’s Office)

Surveillance video shows the man taking energy drinks, donuts, and whiskey to the counter and paying for them with a counterfeit $100. The man received almost $50 in change.

Greene County deputies also want to identify this woman who may have arrived and left with the...
Greene County deputies also want to identify this woman who may have arrived and left with the suspect.(Greene County Sheriff’s Office)

A woman with reddish brown hair, wearing a dark hooded coat, jeans, and light colored cowboy boots entered the store a few minutes after the man did. They did not speak to each other, but investigators say they may have arrived in the same vehicle. After the woman left the store, the vehicle left the parking lot. It appears to be a minivan or SUV.

Investigators say the woman and man may be driving a dark minivan or SUV.
Investigators say the woman and man may be driving a dark minivan or SUV.(Greene County Sheriff’s Office)

If you recognize the man or woman, or have any information on this counterfeit money case, call the Greene County Tip Line at 417-829-6230.

To report a correction or typo, please email

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.

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BBB travel scams websites: Fake travel sites, how to spot 2021

Consumer watchdog group Better Business Bureau says cyber criminals are creating copycat travel program sites to steal money and information

WASHINGTON — Craving some warm weather this spring break? We know how you feel… and so do cybercriminals.

So we’re verifying what to look out for right now when you’re scheduling a flight.

 Our source is the Better Business Bureau, who issued a warning that “scammers” are creating lookalike websites mimicking travel programs like TSA pre-check and Global Entry.

“You think that you’re…actually on TSA’s website, you think that you’re either working directly with a reputable third party who could help you sign up, and they do look legitimate,” Kelsey Coleman, Director of Communications for the BBB in Metro – Washington, D.C.

Here’s how it works: if you search online for a travel program, chances are the true site will be near the top; however, the BBB warms you may also get copycat websites that look identical to the legit one.

RELATED: VERIFY: Beware of a text scam claiming to send pandemic relief money from the World Bank

The Better Business Bureau says those fake sites may ask you to pony up a hefty fee or fill out sensitive info.

“Even if you pay up, the company may never submit your application form through the correct channels,” they warn online. “You will have lost money and shared your personal information with scammers.”

Coleman says they received nationally more than 300 reports of travel and vacation fraud last year.

You can report something fishy to the BBB Scam Tracker at

“We take this information, and we give it to the FTC, the FBI, local law enforcement, again, to try to stop these schemes as a whole,” Coleman said.

Here are some steps you can take right now:

  • Double check you have the correct link 
  • Look for signs that the link is secure and starts with “https” 
  • If its a government website it should end in “.gov”

If you can, the BBB recommends paying by credit card, that way you can try and dispute it.

“It’s very important to take your time and to make sure you’re actually dealing with the right site,” Coleman said.

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Fake news: How to spot fake photos of Mars

fake-news-in-wordsGetty Images

Earlier this week, Nasa shared an amazing video of its Perseverance rover landing on Mars.

The rover touched down on the Red Planet on 19 February, and engineers added seven cameras to the rover to record not only what it’s like on the Red Planet, but its journey to the planet too.

But while everyone down on Earth was getting excited, photos were being shared widely across social media which claimed to have been taken from Mars, but are actually fake.

So how do you spot fake images? We’ve got it covered below.

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