While the global level of passenger air travel has plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters have taken advantage of the crisis to increase the pace of their activities. The number of cyber-attacks, scamming, phishing and fake refund claims targeting airlines has dramatically increased in the last few months.
The cost of fraud to airlines is estimated at $1 billion annually. Defeating it requires a three-step approach. The first is to understand fraud, its logic and mechanisms. The second is to take serious actions based on these understandings; and the third step is to realize that we are all in this together. IATA has just published a new whitepaper: “Fraud in the airline industry – why carriers need to think of themselves as crimefighters”, that aims to help airlines grasp the full extent of fraud, and why a community approach is most effective in combatting it.
Today’s fraudsters are not simply looking for free tickets and the impact on an airline is not a simple easy-to-write-off cost. Fraudsters’ efforts are the tip of the iceberg of wider criminal activities. Our efforts as an industry – airlines, airport, agents and Strategic Partners, working with payment stakeholders and law enforcement agencies, are capable of making the biggest difference to outcomes, and enabling the travel industry to keep costs as low as possible.
$1B is the cost of fraud to the airline industry. This new IATA working paper demonstrates how industry collaboration can reduce crime as well as costs. Download “Fraud in the airline industry – why carriers need to think of themselves as crimefighters” here.
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