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Police have apprehended a 22-year-old man who they say may have been responsible for an online airline ticket scam. The man, who was arrested on Sept. 26, now faces two counts of fraud under $5,000 as well as two counts of possession of property obtained through crime. He is due to make his first court appearance in an Ontario court on Nov. 9, and if he is found guilty, he could face serious criminal consequences.
Police say they believe between June and Aug. 2017, several individuals were the victims of a scam that saw them purchase airline tickets through a third-party online agent using Interac e-transfers. The flights ranged from $400 to $3,000 in price. Victims believed their bookings were confirmed as they appeared on the airlines’ home websites, but the third-party agent apparently booked them using a compromised credit card, which led to the non-refundable flights being cancelled.
Police believe the man they arrested posed as an online travel agent using a variety of aliases. They believe he deposited the e-transfers received by the third-party vendor into his own account. Police are still reaching out to the community in an effort to locate and support other victims of the alleged scam, and to help build their case against the accused man.
Online fraud is still a relatively new phenomenon, but is becoming more prevalent as Ontario residents become more reliant on online banking and transactions. However, it is still very difficult to prosecute a case of this nature, since law enforcement will need to secure specific warrants to have access to digital records. If these records are inconsistent with the prosecution’s claims, the case could be dropped. In any case, the support of an experienced defense attorney will help to ensure police are held to the highest standard in their investigation, and that the accused man is guaranteed his day in court.
Source: insidetoronto.com, “Toronto man, 22, charged with fraud in airline ticket scam“, Sept. 27, 2017