Hundreds more in several Gulf states are also falling prey
KUWAIT CITY, April 30: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has received dozens of complaints from citizens and residents regarding their exposure to fraud from a notorious airline ticket booking platform that claims to be based in Kuwait. State of Kuwait and has an official landline number using which it advertises and promotes its services and products, Al-Qabas reports daily. This comes at a time when a large number of citizens and residents of the country are preparing to book air tickets to take advantage of the long Eid Al-Fitr holiday to travel outside the country.
According to knowledgeable sources, the fraud and scam through the website was not limited to citizens and residents of Kuwait, but also extended to other countries, as hundreds of citizens and residents of the countries of Gulf and others have fallen into the same trap.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has received emails from overseas victims who have requested the ministry’s assistance in returning their money from the ticketing platform, as the website specializing in booking tickets travel tickets is supposed to be based in Kuwait and has a fixed telephone number in Kuwait for the customer. a service. Since it has a government line, that means the number is licensed by the Kuwait Ministry of Communications. The sources claimed that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is currently coordinating with the Public Communications and Information Technology Authority to take action against the website, which may amount to shutting it down and removing it. block, and cancel the Kuwaiti landline it uses to trick customers.
They explained that people who book air tickets through international ticket booking websites first select the destination and date of travel. They then have the option of paying through a number of booking platforms that appear to them. Often the website, which claims to be based in Kuwait, is the cheapest. The customer must reserve the tickets and pay their value. A day or two before the date of his trip, he either receives a call or an e-mail informing him that the price of the tickets has increased, and he must either pay the difference in price, which varies between 10 and 30% of the total amount of the ticket or cancel their reservations.
In this case, the customer usually has no choice but to submit to blackmail and pay the difference in the value of the tickets. In the event that the victim requests the cancellation of the reservation, he is promised a refund of the value of his tickets, which were debited from his bank account, within a week. When he calls the customer service number, he is informed that there is a problem or a refund delay. Hundreds of customers, and possibly thousands, haven’t gotten their money back from this company for nine months or more because the ticketing platform is betting on the customer’s boredom calling or begging to get his money back! The sources said, “When the customer sees a Kuwaiti landline number on the website, he will definitely come to the conclusion that the platform belongs to an officially licensed Kuwaiti company, because the Ministry of Communications cannot grant a landline phone number to a company without official permission. licenses.
When customers, who have booked flight tickets through this platform, call the customer service landline number and ask for the address of the company to visit to receive their money, they get the response that the company has no administrative headquarters or office in Kuwait. , and that the customer service is managed from one of the Arab countries. Thus, the Kuwaiti customer service number is nothing but a “pedal” line to only receive calls from customers.
This platform, based in one of the Arab countries, became active after the opening of airlines and the demand for people to travel with the relaxation of movement restrictions. Currently, he can take advantage of the Eid al-Fitr holiday season to claim more victims.” The sources called on citizens and residents to ensure the reliability of the website before making reservations, and to deal only with approved websites and official airlines, or aviation offices. distributed throughout the country, in order to avoid falling into the trap of such platforms which “eat people’s money”.