Don’t book repatriation flights online, warns Pak consulate in Dubai

​​​​​​​A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane arrives at the Benazir International airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, in this file picture. — Courtesy photo

Muhammed Nafie

DUBAI — Pakistani citizens in Dubai have been advised not to buy online tickets for repatriation flights as fraudsters continue to target them with fake tickets amid the coronavirus pandemic, an official said on Tuesday.

In a video message on his Twitter account addressing Pakistani citizens in Dubai and northern emirates in the United Arab Emirates, Ahmed Amjad Ali, Pakistan’s Consul-General in Dubai, warned them against making online payments for the flights, as the tickets are only available at airline counters.

The Consulate General of India in Dubai also warned Indian nationals in the United Arab Emirates of people who are running scams, collecting money and claiming to operate repatriation flights.

“It has come to our notice that certain people and travel agencies in UAE are contacting Indian nationals in the name of forthcoming chartered flights to various destinations in India and in some cases, alluring them to pay money in advance for airfare and quarantine charges in India,” the Consulate said on Sunday on its Twitter account.

Fraudsters are finding new ways to trick some of the thousands of Pakistani and Indina expats and tourists stranded in the UAE.

“I want to highlight that we have received several complaints that there are scam artists pretending to be consulate officials and travel agents,” Ali said.

“Do not make any online payments. When the consulate calls you, you will be asked to go to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) counter in person and pay there. The ticket will have the government-approved price on it,” he said.

“Fraudsters are asking you to make online payments, but please beware that these people are lying and are trying to trick you. Please be careful of these people,” he added. — Al Arabiya English