WestJet warns Canadians about ongoing phone scam

WestJet today issued another warning to Canadians to avoid sharing their credit card numbers and other private information with fraudsters posing as WestJet or WestJet Vacations.

“This phone scam and other, similar versions continue to be a source of great frustration for our guests as well as for us,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet Vice-President, Communications and Community Relations. “We would like to reassure Canadians once again that we are not making these annoying calls, and we apologize for the inconvenience. We urge anyone who receives one of these calls to hang up immediately and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.”

For several years, con artists purporting to be from WestJet and other prominent Canadian companies have called random telephone numbers across the country in an effort to obtain credit card information. They say they require a credit card number to cover fees associated with claiming the prize. Once they have a number, they use it to make fraudulent purchases.

WestJet does not use telemarketers or make telemarketing phone calls, nor does it share guests’ private information with third parties for the purposes of telemarketing.

A second, less-common scam currently circulating involves fake electronic tickets with long numerical sequences purportedly issued by WestJet. In fact, WestJet itineraries are identified by six letters only and contain relevant information about fares, taxes and fees, baggage allowances, seat selection, inflight entertainment and airline partnerships.

The federal Competition Bureau has declared March Fraud Prevention Month, an annual public awareness campaign designed to prevent Canadian from becoming victims of fraud. For resources and more information, please visit www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/home.

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