Calgary woman questions security of WestJet website after claiming her credit card was compromised

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Calgarian Tracie Adams demands answers after her credit card was compromised due to what she believes to be a WestJet reservation and seat upgrade.

Adams said it all started after he booked a business trip to Toronto on August 17. Hours later, she received an email from the Calgary-based airline asking if she wanted to upgrade her seat.

“I thought, how exciting, let’s try this,” she told Global News.

She clicked on the link and submitted an offer of $175, after being assured there was no risk.

“If you don’t get your seat, we won’t charge your credit card,” she said in the email.

But the next day she said she received an SMS alert from her credit card company Capital one. He alerted her to several suspicious charges and what he believed to be fraudulent charges, one he caught and several others he blocked.

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“Clothing, sexting services, escort services,” she said, the charges ranged from.

Adams said she was advised to contact the airline, but when she did, she said she was told to contact Plusgrade – the third party software service that WestJet and many other airlines use for all offers.

She said she got no response from anyone.

“From management to third, they were apathetic at best.”

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Global News has contacted both parties.

WestJet told us it takes such complaints “very seriously,” adding that both parties are actively investigating the matter. An airline official added; “At this time, we can confirm that there have been no reported incidents of singular or widespread security breaches on their platform.”

Plusgrade went one step further, telling us it “can’t happen”.

“Plusgrade provides software services on behalf of our partner airlines and does not store credit card details as part of this process,” a statement read.

“We are a business-to-business software company and we do not receive payment directly from consumers for the upgrade services we provide to WestJet.”

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Adams is adamant the breach comes from somewhere. She fears her privacy has been breached and her information has ended up in the “wrong hands”. Since then, she has had to cancel her only credit card and postpone several authorized payments.

“It’s been a nightmare,” she said. “Why, when it’s not my fault, is the inconvenience and burden solely on me?”

“I want the company to say; “Yes, it was our fault, and yes, we are working to fix it,” she said. “Remove my information and have a little more concern for my safety and financial security.”

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WestJet has recently been the subject of other consumer reports and complaints regarding its website and app. Some customers reported being able to see personal information of random users when they logged in.

WestJet told Global News that these incidents and Adams’ experience are in no way related.

Adams hasn’t heard if she will in fact get the upgrade. She said she wouldn’t accept it – even if she wins the offer – because she no longer trusts the system.

“Less than impressed, to say the least.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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