An independent investigation by one of the world's largest airlines, Delta Air, has uncovered a criminal scheme that is tricking unsuspecting Pet owners into thinking that they are dealing with the airline. Following the discovery, the airline filed a lawsuit seeking to subpoena Google and other website host domains, to provide more information on the sites offering the fake services, in a bid to identify the operators behind the sites. This will then enable Delta to name them as defendants in a criminal lawsuit the airline intends to file.

Last month, Delta filed a lawsuit over a similar website;, but further investigations by the airline showed the fake scheme was more widespread, and involved multiple sites.

This prompted the airline to file a new lawsuit this week, with the new information, Fox News reported.

How the scam works

The bogus sites are using Delta's name, logo, and photos of its fleet, claiming to provide pets for sale, as well as shipping services for pets. Unsuspecting potential pet owners then send payments to buy the various pets on offer, or for pet-shipping services. The pets for sale are non-existent, and so are the pet-shipping services. In Delta's court papers filed by the airline's lawyers, a lot of people have fallen victim to the scam, and thousands of dollars have been collected, with no services in return. The investigation also revealed, that once a pet owner sends payments for shipping services, the fake website operators continue to demand more payments, which they claim are mandatory, to cover permits, vaccines, and insurance fees for their pets.

Subpoena request

Throughout the course of Delta's probe, the airline sent payments, via Western Union, to one of the fake websites, playing the part of a customer interested in one of the pet-related services on offer. The money was then followed and picked up by an unidentified man at Kings Soopers grocery store, which hosts a Western Union office inside, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Delta is requesting a subpoena for the CCTV footage of the man, from the grocery store's parent company, Kroger Co. This is in addition to other subpoenas for the numerous websites Delta's investigation has uncovered, which are tricking the public into believing the fake services are affiliated with the airline. Delta also added in its court filing that it has collected sufficient evidence, which can be used to prosecute the perpetrators of the criminal scam once they are identified.