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Delta: Mysterious website tricks people who put pets on jets

  • A Delta Air Lines jet takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Monday, July 28, 2014. In a victory for airlines and their workers’ unions, the House rejected consumers’ complaints and passed legislation letting airline advertising emphasize the base price of tickets, before taxes and fees are added. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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ATLANTA >> A website is tricking people into thinking they’re dealing with Delta Air Lines when arranging for their pets to fly on jets, the Atlanta-based company maintains in a new federal lawsuit.

The site — DeltaPetTransit.com — is designed to look like a Delta site and uses the airline’s logos and pictures of its planes, Delta said in the lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Georgia. But the site isn’t affiliated with the airline and has no right to use its trademarks the complaint says.

The website solicits pet-shipment payments while posing as Delta, but offers no services, Delta maintains.

The site is being used “to advertise bogus pet air-transport services and to dupe intended victims into believing that they are dealing with Delta and are tendering pet shipment-related payments and fees directly to Delta,” Delta states in the complaint.

The site includes pictures of children hugging a dog and smiling pet owners, and explains how pets will travel.

“It’s another teary goodbye as we fill the water container and ensure your pet is comfortable and relaxed inside his/her travelling crate. From here the door is sealed shut with cable ties until your pet reaches their destination,” the site states.

But whoever is behind the site is a mystery.

It was created earlier this year using a service that masks the identities of people registering internet domains. A phone number at the site uses an area code that Delta says does not exist in the United States. The physical address on the site is a street in a fictitious city: Simi Valley, Nevada.

Since the site’s operators aren’t yet known, defendants in the lawsuit are named as “John Does 1-25.” However, Delta vows in the lawsuit that it will determine their identities through its investigation.

A message from The Associated Press to the email address on the site got no response Friday. Delta didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Though much of the advertising pitch on the site reads as though it’s from an airline, there is also some gibberish mixed in. For instance, the pet transit site also promises to “phosfluorescently impact enterprise-wide platforms after future-proof niche markets” and informs pet owners that “the generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition etc.”

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