Calgarian Tracie Adams is demanding answers after her credit card was compromised due to what she believes was a WestJet booking and seat upgrade.
Adams said it all started after she booked a business trip to Toronto on Aug. 17. A few hours later, she received an email from the Calgary-based airline asking her 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 a bid for $175, after being assured there was no risk.
“If you don’t get your seat, we won’t charge your credit card,” the email read, she said.
But the next day, she said received a text alert from her credit card company Capital One. It alerted her to several suspicious and what it believed were fraudulent charges, one it caught and several others it blocked.
“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 WestJet and many other airlines use for any bids.
She said she got no answer, from anyone.
“From management to the third party — they were apathetic at best.”
Global News reached out to both parties.
WestJet told us it takes these complaints “very seriously,” adding both sides are now actively investigating this matter further. An airline official added; “At this time, we can confirm, there are no reported incidents of a singular or widespread security breach on their platform.”
Plusgrade went even further, telling us it simply ‘cannot happen.’
“Plusgrade provides software services on behalf of our partner airlines and does not store credit card details as part of that process,” a statement read.
“We are a business-to-business software company and we do not directly receive payment from any consumers for the upgrade services that we provide WestJet.”
Adams is adamant the breach came from somewhere. She’s worried her privacy has been breached and her information has ended up in more ‘bad hands.’ She has since had to cancel her only credit card and reschedule several authorized payments.
“It has been a nightmare,” she said. “Why, when it’s not my fault, does the inconvenience and onus only fall on me?
“I want the company to say; ‘Yes it was our fault, and yes we’re working to fix it,'” she said. “Take my information out and have a little bit more concern for my safety and my financial security.”
WestJet was recently the subject of other consumer reports and complaints about its website and app. Some customers reported being able to see the personal information of random users when they logged in.
WestJet has told Global News these incidences and Adams’ experience are in no way connected.
Adams has not heard if she will in fact get the upgrade. She said she won’t take it — even if she wins the bid — as she no longer trusts the system.
“Less than impressed to say the least.”