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Gone phishing aboard American Airways

June 19, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
I am qualified for $1,400 worth of airline tickets to “American Airways” if I just call the number at the bottom of the letter that came in a plain envelope without a return address and is printed on some kind of generic stationary that is less professional than the letterhead I can make here with my simple laser printer and an ancient Mac.

Hand shredded this one, which was received at home, then posted on Facebook that I had received this piece of obvious scamhood and hand-shredded it.

I was surprised to find a bunch of my friends had received the same piece of prize baloney, friends ranging from Wheeling to Toronto.

Turns out even we in the Valley are not alone. A search of “American Airways scam” turned up links indicating this little piece of junk, which surely is hoping to find someone gullible enough to call and give a debit or credit card number, has been circulating for possibly a decade. It was working under the name “US Airlines” at one point. Maybe they changed their name because they’re merging fictitious scam companies, just like the real American Airlines and US Airways.

There are Better Business Bureau warnings about the scam (thanks for that from writer Chris Bagley of the Triangle Business Journal of North Carolina and News 58 in Milwaukee and a host of personal postings from people across the nation, among other media outlets).

The warnings are clear.

Anyone active on the Internet worries about easy identity theft on the Internet, where scams of all kinds are at work, ranging from the Nigerian prince who needs $100,000, to the simple click on a link about weight loss or one that says there are nasty comments about you in the Twittersphere leading to your Twitter followers receiving a ton of spam in your name (thanks, Eric Minor for that one before you left town!).

But there are easy ones still preying on us through what were the conventional channels. All it takes is a slip and you’re had. The lesson? Be on guard. It’s not just the electronics that can grab you.

You know not where the phish are biting.


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