The Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police on Monday advised air travellers against using credit cards for the purchase of air tickets to avoid being defrauded. The Commissioner of Police in charge of the unit, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. Lamorde said some air passengers were defrauded of N2.3 million by suspected fraudsters who used stolen credit cards for such transactions.
According to him, some passengers were offloaded from a commercial flight because stolen credit cards were used in buying their tickets. “The passengers were directed to appear at the American Embassy for interrogation to explain how they bought the tickets. “At the Embassy, it was discovered they paid a total sum of N2.3 million to one of the suspects who operates a travel agency at Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos State. “There is no way they will know that the agent will pay for their tickets using credit cards because most of them paid for tickets through cash or money transfer,’’ Lamorde said. The police chief said the first suspect, (name withheld), who partnered with the second suspect (name withheld), claimed he had been running a travel agency in Ibadan for over five years. He said that in December 2016, the same travel agency defrauded a family of 11 of huge sums of money through air tickets. “After investigation, it was discovered that the travel agencies were not certified by the International Air Transport Association (AITA),’’ he said. Lamorde said credit cards thieves are usually targeting hospitality and aviation industry to spend the money. “If you use credit card to purchase tickets, you are expected to come along with the credit card on the day you are about to board to make it legitimate,” the police chief said.