Airline scammers: family loses $3,400 after hackers changed airline contact info

Noey Smiley /

The next time you google an airline’s contact number, be extra wary. 

A family lost thousands of dollars and had their flights canceled after unknowingly speaking to an imposter pretending to be a Southwest Airlines ticket agent.

Megan and Kevin Morgan were vacationing in Maui with their 8-month old when they decided to cut their holiday short and return home to California due to the raging wildfires. 

Megan told the New York Post that she googled the contact number for Southwest Airlines in order to change their return flight date.

Unbeknownst to Megan, hackers have been changing airline customer contact numbers on Google, so that when customers ring, they find themselves speaking to an imposter acting as an airline agent or employee. 

The person to whom Megan spoke informed her that there would be a $200 change fee to alter their flights.

She refused, did not provide her credit card details, and ended the call.

Moments later, Megan received an SMS from Southwest Airlines to say that their flights had been canceled.

Using their reservation numbers and names, the scammer was able to cancel their bookings online, and immediately used the credit to book flights for someone else. 

The Morgans were forced to stay two more nights in Maui, and purchased new tickets to return home with Hawaiian Airlines, costing them $3,400.

“We are disheartened to learn that a customer was taken advantage of by someone impersonating one of our employees,” Southwest said in a statement to CBS 13. “Our customer engagement team is in touch with the customer to learn more as well as offer assistance, and we are investigating the matter internally.”

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