Bogus website offered airline jobs
A bogus website offering jobs in the airline industry has been uncovered by trading standards.
Somerset County Council said the scam appears to be aimed at people living outside the UK in particular and may have already claimed victims.
The Fair Airways website, which has a fake business address in Taunton, was offering four months of expenses-paid training in the UK for young, single men and women as cabin crew for the world's next big airline.
The council's trading standards officers were alerted by a complaint from Nepal and soon uncovered the truth.
As well as the complaint from Nepal, the council received a query about the airline's authenticity from the Civil Aviation Authority and a further call from a UK resident.
Somerset trading standards officers are now working to have the sites removed from the internet.
Officers are confident that social media discussions about Fair Airways will alert anyone tempted to start a career with it.
Fair Airways claims on its website that it will be fully functional from September and flying from 36 countries in November.
A link takes anyone interested in a job to the Fair Academy site.
For a compulsory registration fee of £75, and an optional payment of £250 for food and accommodation, anyone from outside Europe was promised two months training in India.
They were also offered four months additional training in the UK, which would be paid for by the Fair Academy.
European applicants are also being charged £100 extra with initial training in Switzerland.
It is thought that the sites have been active for about two months but it is not known how many people may have been tricked into sending money.
Councillor David Hall, cabinet member for trading standards, said: "It is unfortunate that anyone might have lost money to this con and we are focusing our efforts on finding out who is responsible and removing the web pages.
"It does appear that a random address was picked in Taunton as head office for this fictional airline, but we believe the website is being run from India.
"Taunton might seem an unusual base for an international airline and its training college, but it could be an excellent location and we would welcome approaches from any airlines."
Last year another international internet scam tried to con potential students into studying at the fictional Glastonbury University.
A joint effort with specialist Metropolitan Police officers meant the website was soon removed after it claimed its campus was an empty building in the centre of Glastonbury.
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