Case Study of the Week: Dealing with Online Scams in the Travel Industry

January 23, 2023

Travel & Tourism

You are to assume the role of the chief communications officer and director of customer relations for Journey, a travel booking website that provides airline and train ticketing, car rental services, and other travel needs. The CEO of the company wants you to develop a plan that will communicate a customer service scam to customers and Journey employees.

In the last four days, Journey customers from 17 states and provinces have been affected by a scam. Journey customers looking to change or cancel a reservation have used popular search engines to find the Journey customer service phone number. Unfortunately, the search engines have provided fake ads that provide a fraudulent Journey customer service phone number. 

The fraudulent customer service representatives gather customer information, claim the program to change or cancel reservations is down, and instead, persuade customers to purchase gift cards for use in changing or canceling reservations. Unsuspecting customers then willingly give the scammers personal financial information over the telephone. Journey customers involved in the scam have lost close to $10,000.

Journey has complied with all security rules, regulations, and codes. It is simply the work of scammers able to trick customers using fake online ads on search engines that have caused the scandal.

The CEO wants your team to develop a plan to include:

  • Immediate communication to Journey customers (including informational message and communication style most effective)
  • Immediate communication to Journey staff (including informational message and communication style most effective)
  • Methods to build and maintain trust with Journey customers


Randi Bibiano
Competitive Events Specialist

Randi Bibiano is DECA's competitive events specialist. In this role, she conceptualizes and authors role-play scenarios for the collegiate and high school division’s competitive events programs. She also manages DECA's online competitive events and serves as a liaison to volunteer efforts at DECA's educational conferences.

Discussion Questions

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Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Hospitality and Tourism

Instructional Area(s):


Performance Indicators:

Employ communication styles appropriate to target audience
Write informational messages
Choose and use appropriate channel for workplace communication
Build trust in relationships