Scammers are exploiting the high demand for air freight brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Loadstar reports. Charter veteran Steve Manser told the publication that fraudsters are lurking on LinkedIn offering aircraft charters for cheap, since legitimate charters have grown more scarce and more expensive.
“People don’t seem to be carrying out the required due diligence and make commitments to their end-customer based on crazy offers, only to be let down big-time,” Manser said.
Manser added that people should never send money without being absolutely certain that they’re dealing with someone legitimate.
“A deal that sounds too good to be true is most likely that,” Manser said. “Don’t pay any deposit without checking where the money is going, and anyone with a .gmail or .hotmail address is highly unlikely to be legitimate – or is too cheap to be bothered to set up a web presence/email address.”
Mike Hill, director of group freight for Air Partner, told the Loadstar that domain squatting has grown increasingly common in scams targeting the industry.
“A new phenomenon we are seeing more and more of are outfits that set up fake domains to sound like very well-known airlines and known contacts,” Hill said. “For example, they add an extra letter into the domain name. And the email address of contacts we know are the same, but just one letter different. Pretty convincing stuff to the undiscerning eye.”
Manser added that people should be skeptical whenever they conduct business online.
“People seem to be happy to deal with people who don’t have any web presence or lack a company email address and trading history,” Manser said. “But they transfer very large sums of money to these people without any thought on how they might get it back.”
New-school security awareness training can give your employees a healthy sense of suspicion so they can identify scams designed to play on their emotions.
The Loadstar has the story.