INDIANAPOLIS –  It’s about time to book your upcoming trip for the holidays. As we know, there’s always a chance for disruptions when you go to the airport. Adding to the frustrations, scammers are trying to trick you into spending money on a fake airline ticket.

We investigated how scammers want to ruin your end of the year vacation and the steps you can take now, so this doesn’t happen to your family.

The bustling airport is about to get even busier for the holidays.

“Everyone is really hungry for seeing the world again,” said Shawn Hayes, the Owner of Travel with Shawn Hayes.

But before you purchase your ticket, or pack up your suitcase, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a scam warning.

“We shouldn’t have that in this world nowadays,” said traveler Elizabeth Boyer, “It’s just sad and terrible.”

Hayes considers herself a travel concierge, who helps people plan their dream vacations. She’s aware of the scams out there and knows how to avoid them.

“I’ve had some new clients that have come to me and have been stuck,” said Hayes, “And they don’t want that to ever happen again.”

The BBB scam tracker has received multiple reports of scammers creating fake airline ticket booking sites or customer service numbers to attempt to charge you for rescheduling fake flights.

They’re using the uptick in canceled or delayed flights to take advantage of people at moments when they’re panicking to get where they need to go on time.

“What’s happening is that they’re jumping on air fares online, so they do searches for particular flights, and you might get something back that says, round trip to Hawaii for $400. Well, that hasn’t been the case since 1976. That’s the truth,” explained Hayes.

From January to July this year, U.S. airlines have cancelled almost 129,000 flights. That’s up 11 percent.

Nearly a million flights have been delayed, according to Reuters. Scammers are taking notice. The better Business Bureau reports nearly 700 travel related scams in the last year.”

“I believe that resulted in $1.4 million lost,” said Jennifer Adamany, the Director of Communications for BBB Serving Central Indiana.

Adamany explained how the scam works.

“Check it carefully,” she stressed.

Shortly after making an online payment for a cheap flight, you receive a call saying there’s been a sudden price change to finalize your booking. Something the BBB says a legitimate company would never do.

In another case your original flight was real, but the cancellation notice was fake. When you call the phony number to re-book, you’re not purchasing a new ticket, your giving away your money.

“If you notice it’s generalized, that’s a red flag,” said Adamany, “You’ll want to double check the confirmation information in there, so if it does have your name, it does have a confirmation number – confirm with your actual receipt when you made the purchase to see that it matches.”

We reached out to United, American, Allegiant and Southwest Airlines for a response to the scams.

Southwest Airlines is the only one to respond saying it’s taken numerous steps toward supporting customers and preparing ahead of the holidays.

In a statement, Southwest says, “Southwest fares are available for purchase only on through Southwest. We do not partner with any third parties, thus Customers should avoid any fares they find outside of”

Representatives for Southwest Airlines went on to say, “We have taken numerous steps toward supporting operational reliability and Flexibility for Customers throughout the busy Summer travel season and upcoming Fall holidays, including the following:

Experts stress the most important thing you can do is go directly to the source. Advice, that Boyer has used and will continue to.

“I always contact the airline directly for any changes or any questions that way I don’t get scammed,” Boyer added.

If you happen to come across one of these scams the BBB wants you to report it, to help alert them and others of what’s going on.

You can visit the BBB Scam Tracker by clicking here.

Here’s a look again at how to avoid these scams, according to the Better Business Bureau’s website:

  • Do your researchIf you come across a company you haven’t dealt with before, research it before making any purchases.
  • Double check flight details before calling support. Scammers are blasting out fake airline cancellation emails and text messages that can easily be mistaken for the real deal. Confirm the information in the message, such as the flight and reservation numbers is correct before calling customer support.  
  • Confirm the URL before you enter personal and payment informationIt can be easy to click on a sponsored ad or impostor website without noticing. Before entering any sensitive information, double-check that you are on the right website and that the link is secure.
  • Be wary of third-party websites. Some websites appear to offer a legitimate service but are only fronts for a scam. Be suspicious of websites with no working customer service number or physical address. Typos and grammatical errors can be indications of a scammer’s handiwork.
  • Make online purchases with your credit card.