Beware fake American Airlines email phishing scam

phishing aa email

The likelihood is that you’re the mileage and travel expert for your family and circle of friends, so even though you’d never fall for this scam, you should be aware in case they come to you about it.

Last year, people began receiving emails like the one above that was received by blogger and SkyMiles Geek, Rene over at DeltaPoints.

These emails usually come in the form of a fake confirmation for some supposedly “recently purchased tickets” and contain instructions to click a link or open an .EXE attachment in order to view the ticket.

The deception works when the recipient, concerned about receiving a confirmation for a ticket they never purchased, follows the instructions and their computer gets infected with malware.

Here’s a sample posted on AA.com of one of the bogus emails:

From: sales1@acshomeshow.com [mailto:sales1@acshomeshow.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 5:17 PM
To: AMessina
Subject: Re: Your Flight Order N590-5507130

Dear Customer,

FLIGHT ELECTRONIC NUMBER 8532856
DATE & TIME / NOVEMBER 28, 2011, 11:17 PM
ARRIVING: NEW YORK JFK
TOTAL PRICE : 278.02 USD

Please download and print out your ticket here:
http://www.aa.com/flight-nyc/flightno36952281084a

Marie MATTHEWS,
American Airlines

It’s obvious to you and me that it’s a fake email (apparently the scammers are to lazy to even produce any fake graphics) but to others (particularly elderly parents) it might very well seem legit.

If  someone does come to you after they’ve fallen victim to the scam, they should:

• Run a virus check to remove any malware

• Change their AA.com password

• Confirm that the email address on file with AA.com is correct and hasn’t been reset by the scammers

• Contact their bank if they think that finanacial account information may have been exposed

•  Forward a copy of the email, including the header to webmaster@aa.com

You can visit AA.com for more info.

Photo: phishing aa email
Credit: Delta Points on Flickr

Comments

  1. Never open anything including emails, pictures, and videos if you dont know whats in there. On top of that, anything executable should NEVER be ran. File types .exe .com .bat are the most common

  2. @ DealsWeLike – That’s scary. Glad your Dad checked with you first. Thanks sharing the story!

    @ Mike – Great advice. Thanks!

    @ IPBrian – And they can’t even bother with spell check! 🙂

  3. About the spell check, I believe is intentional. If you pay closer attention, I bet you ca find typing errors in any fake message you get… Maybe this is a catch to “legally” avoid any punishment. I keep receiving these type of messages very often, regarding airlines, banks, e-commerce sites, things that I “won”… In every message there is at least one spelling error.

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