Two girls, aged 15 and 17, had been approached by a man on Instagram who asked them to fly to New York for the weekend to star in a music video.
An airline employee noticed that the girls looked uncomfortable and something wasn't right before they got to security processing at Sacramento International Airport.
American Airlines agent Denice Miracle told WISTV: "They kept looking back-and-forth at each other, like they weren't really sure... and then they were texting someone on the phone, and that person was giving them answers."
Ms Miracle discovered the girls had no identification on them, and had first class tickets to New York but no return flights. She alerted the sheriff's offices after feeling that something wasn't right.
Deputy sheriff Todd Sanderson approached the teens, who told him they had been recruited by a man named 'Drey' on Instagram who would pay them $US2000 to take modelling pictures and star in a music video.
Mr Sanderson tried to make contract with Drey, who immediately deleted all of his social media profiles, confirming suspicions that he was deceiving the girls.
The teenagers were returned home to their parents, who had no idea of their travel plans and believed they were both staying the night at a friend's house, according to WISTV.
Authorities believe that 'Drey' is an expert at finding young girls online and luring them in, and the girls would almost certainly have become victims.
Ms Miracle is being praised for her quick-thinking and for taking action that likely saved the girls from a frightening situation.