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American Airlines’ AAdvantage Participants Receiving Phishing E-mail

On April 9, 2009, American Airlines issued a warning to the customers about an e-mail scam that is exploiting its AAdvantage program. AAdvantage program refers to the American's travel awards program.

Some of the customers who took part in the program reportedly received an e-mail offering an incentive of worth $50 to answer a survey. On clicking the link provided in the e-mail, the user is first directed to a webpage resembling a page on AA.com. Therein, the user is asked to give his/her AAdvantage membership number as well as PIN.

Later on, he/she is forwarded to an online survey having questions related to American's site. Finally, the user is directed to a page that asks for the his/her personal details, including date of birth, credit card number, code, expiration date, social security number, ATM PIN and mother's maiden name. This technique to obtain personal and sensitive user information is referred to as "phishing".

American Airlines said in its website that it's just opposite to their security policy to gather personal information of customers such as user names, e-mail addresses, passwords or other personal details over the Internet or to do an online inquiry about security changes to the users' accounts. This statement from the Airlines came after the initial reports of the e-mail scam.

This scam looks as if it the work of a bunch of crooks skilled in airline spam. According to experts, due to spelling errors, these e-mails can be easily detected. Also, if anyone had not purchased any online ticket of the airlines, then there is no reason to get anxious.

The airlines officials are advising customers not to click on any link provided within the e-mail or to open any e-mail attachments or call any phone number given therein. The airlines also asked the customers that on receiving such e-mail, they should instantly send a copy, including header, to it so as to help the airlines to investigate the situation.

Earlier, in the beginning of 2009, security experts at Sophos highlighted a similar spam campaign against the Northwest Airlines. That spam used phony e-tickets and in-voices attached to the e-mail.

Related article: American College of Physicians’ Website Hacked by North Carolina Businessman

» SPAMfighter News - 14-04-2009

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