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Advantage chief Julia Lo Bue-Said believes the industry is “allowing” dishonest traders to “rack up debts”, and card providers are failing to prevent it.
The Advantage Travel Partnership managing director described business-to-business (B2B) fraud as “under the radar” and said: “There isn’t a lot of talk about it because customers are not affected. You have to deal with it yourself.”
Bue-Said suggested “it’s too easy” to be dishonest in travel.
“The industry is allowing it to happen,” she told a Hill Dickinson Travel Law Seminar, referring to “a live case and criminal investigation” as a result of “financial discrepancies” involving Advantage.
She said: “We have tight processes. [So] I’m pretty sure this is happening across the sector – it just hasn’t been raised. This is about business-to-business support.
“There are examples of dishonest people moving from one business to another and racking up debts of hundreds of thousands. It’s not hitting the radar, but we’re all paying for it. There has to be a way to deal with it.”
Bue-Said added: “Merchant acquirers have a big role. You wait a month for a chargeback statement and that is the first you know [of a fraud]. Yet if my [personal] card has activity out of the norm I get a call. Why aren’t measures in place for businesses?
“When you deal B2B, no verification of cards is required. A name does not have to match the card used. Simple measures could prevent fraud.”
However Barry Gooch, chairman of industry body Prevention of Fraud in Travel (Profit), warned: “You should not be sharing names of people you believe are fraudsters. You can only share data legally.”
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