118 cyberthieves arrested using fraudulent tickets at Airports

Credit Card Chip Nimalan Tharmalingam

A new initiative has made a number of arrests across 45 different countries in combating airline tickets bought using fake or stolen credit cards.

Europol, the law enforcement agency of the EU, has announced that 118 people across 45 countries have been arrested in raids on those who have bought fraudulent airline tickets on the internet.

BBC news reports that police officers were stationed in airports ready to arrest those who attempted to use the fraudulent tickets, which were purchased by using stolen or fake credit cards.

Europol says that $1 billion (£640m) is lost each year at airlines through the trade of fraudulent tickets. They also say that many cases revealed links to drug trafficking and human trafficking.

Meta Backman from the European Airlines Fraud Prevention Group said that "Airlines are fighting credit card fraud on their ticket sales on daily basis. It is clear to the airlines that they are up against organised crime in this fight. Airlines are depending on card issuing banks to obtain confirmation of fraudulent use of credit cards. Without confirmation, airlines cannot report the crime to law enforcement."

The collaboration of the police forces, airlines, and credit card companies this week is the launch of an initiative called the Global Airport Action.

The below infographic from Europol gives a snapshot look at what their initiative is about, and what they did to secure the arrests.

Europol operation Airline Action Day 4