What Happens If You Book A Flight And Receive This Email?
There’s a new fraud roaming worldwide known as the Airline Ticket Confirmation Scam. It masquerades almost every airline on the market. Let’s look at how you can easily become a victim and how to avoid it.
There are over 148 million airline bookings made every year. That means travelers purchase over 406,000 tickets every day. This also means over 400,000 people expect airlines to contact them anytime with updates, schedule changes, or other requests.
There is no surprise that almost half a million people are in a pool of potential victims daily when it comes to financial fraud. Daily. Just from the airline industry, let alone the other travel scams. But let’s look at how this scam works and why you should read this article.
How The Scam Works: Qatar Airways Example
Imagine this: you just purchased a plane ticket for the summer trip. For the sake of this quick exercise, let’s assume it was with Qatar Airways, as the latest scam email used this brand. By the way, 18.5 million people book flights with Qatar Airways annually, so that’s about 50,000 per day who pay for tickets.
So, let’s say you are one of them – it’s just like you would be using any other airline: Southwest, United, Emirates, Air Canada, American Airlines, Lufthansa, etc. Minutes after booking your trip and paying a tremendous amount of money, you receive this email:
“Thank you for booking with qatarairways.com. We have received your booking under reference 392A8PK, and we are reviewing your payment.
To ensure we can finalize your payment verification, please provide additional payment information: a cardholder passport copy and a credit card statement within 48 hours by following this link:
Qatar Airways Support”
With the amount of online fraud happening these days, verifying credit cards for their authenticity is a thing that happens more often. Therefore, many people click the link, knowing they just purchased the ticket. Unfortunately, the scammers impersonate the airlines even in the smallest detail, from the color scheme to even the footer of the email.
As expected, the link will take you to a page that resembles the airline just as great, so it is tough to figure out the fake page. You should pay attention to this powerful tip if you want to detect any malicious website immediately and automatically block it.
4 Red Flags That Give Away a Scam Email
There are quite a few things to observe on this email right away, though. Below are the top 4 ways to determine if this email is harmful:
1. No Specific Person Is Addressed
If you look very carefully at the content of the email, you will see that it says “Dear passenger”. This is a dead giveaway that it’s a phishing email. Airlines send you updates using your name.
2. No Flight Details
The content of the email doesn’t mention anything about the destination, price, or departure time.
3. The Embedded Links Are Not Related to Qatar Airways
If you hover your mouse cursor above each link, you should see that each one will take you to an external website with nothing to do with Qatar Airways or its business domain.
4. The Email Address Is Misspelled
The email address used for the email in the image above has a domain name, “qataraairways.com”, which contains a double ‘a’. Be careful with these things.
What Happens If You Click OnThe Link?
Clicking a link to this Qatar Airways spam email will send you to an external website. From there, you will be urged to provide your credit card number to ‘authenticate’ it.
Don’t fall for this. If you click the suspicious link in the email, don’t panic. Just exit out of the external website that pops up. If you don’t provide financial information on this external website, you are 100% safe and have no cause for concern.
What To Do If You Receive An Airline Ticket Confirmation Email
Scam emails are widespread, but most won’t even see them in the first place. Many trustworthy email providers will automatically parse through them and place them in a spam folder, but some can slip through. Here’s what to do quickly, as soon as you receive a scam email in your inbox:
- Stay Calm. Scammers are keen on getting you to react before thinking. It’s how they snag the juiciest prey. Only click any link in an email if you are absolutely sure of where it came from, first and foremost. When and if you see strange emails, a sense of calm and composure is necessary. Think before you click.
- Refrain From Giving Personal Info. Never give out private or financial details over email, even with trusted contacts. This is a good policy to follow. Reputable companies will have far more secure payment processing methods than email. They never ask for information such as debit or credit card numbers through email services.
- Report It. Gmail, and many other email services, make it easy to report spam emails. Do yourself, and others, a favor and promptly report these kinds of emails to your service provider as soon as you have determined that it is a potential threat. This protects you from receiving them again and others who might fall victim.
- Remove It. These scam emails are shotgunned to thousands at a time. You are one of many. Delete it once you’ve ascertained it has nothing to do with you and your safety. Out of sight, out of mind.
How To Avoid The Airline Ticket Email Scam
Email scams are still quite common, but they rarely have the impact that they used to due to much better digital literacy. If you get strange emails and want to get where they come from, then Information.com has the answers.
With a powerful email lookup, you can uncover incredible amounts of data on someone who is attempting to scam or harass you in some way. Arrest records, online dating accounts, educational backgrounds, and even social media accounts can be uncovered with Information.com’s advanced search tools.
Remember, don’t fall prey to email scammers, especially in this day and age. With some due diligence and basic safety standards, you can keep yourself safe from potential harm. Last but not least, Stick use legitimate travel services like Expedia, Kayak or Momondo.
How To Report The Airline Ticket Confirmation Scam
Let your close family and online friends know about the Airline Ticket Confirmation Scam. Feel free to share this page if it was helpful. Meanwhile, you can report travel scammers and any other suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the portal below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be amongst the first to receive notifications about the most notorious scams every week, subscribe to our Scam Detector newsletter. You will receive periodic emails from us with insightful tips. That will include how to prevent fraud and information about the newest tools you can use to fight crime.
Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other travel fraud-related articles. They are listed under this paragraph. Last but not least, if you have any bad experiences, make sure to use the comments section below to expose other travel scammers.
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