Fraudulent emails from airlines can look real

7:29 AM, Jul 23, 2012   |    comments
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FareCompare's Rick Seaney has hundreds of online American Airlines receipts. But, these are phony emails that appear to come from American Airlines.

"Sometimes, when you actually click through on these things, the sites that you go to looks just like American," Seaney said.

He's not alone. American, Delta and US Airways have all been the supposed senders in a recent rash of fraudulent emails landing in countless inboxes across the country.

"This is the first time I've seen a lot of them related to air travel," Seaney said.

The most common claims to be a receipt for a recent preferred seat order, but clicking on the link provided can cost a bundle.

"If they get your loyalty number and your password, you have your credit card already in there," Seaney said. "At least I do, and I know a lot of people do on American Airlines. They can starting booking tickets."

The crooks typically buy tickets for flights the next day before anyone can catch on.

"It's all basically a con game trying to steal money from you," Seaney said.

Computer security experts warn before clicking on anything suspicious, check it out first.

"Delete it if you don't care," Jeff Farr, a computer security expert, said. "If it rings somehow true - 'yes, I was on a flight last week maybe they messed it up' - go to the real website. Go log into your account, and just call."

(Copyright © 2012 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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