In an international operation that took place at 200 airports across the world, crime agency Europol has arrested 79 individuals suspected of using stolen credit card data for the online purchase of flight tickets.
Airline companies are among the most affected by card-not-present fraud. It is estimated that the airline industry’s losses have reached close to $1 billion per year, as a result of the fraudulent online purchases of flight tickets.
During this international law enforcement operation, 165 suspicious transactions were reported. Investigations have been opened and 79 individuals suspected of traveling with airline tickets bought using stolen, compromised or fake credit card details have been arrested or detained.
Some of the reported cases were linked to illegal immigration, where the arrested passengers were in possession of counterfeited IDs or valid documents from other persons from different nationalities.
Wil van Gemert, Europol’s deputy executive director operations, says: “Airline ticket fraud is borderless by nature. This operation was the culmination of many months of meticulous planning between Europol, law enforcement, judiciary and border agencies, airlines and credit card companies, and is a perfect example of how our combined forces can make distinctive contribution in the fight against these criminal syndicates operating across borders."