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Scammers put a damper on holiday travels

13 Apr 2014

If you’re heading out of town this holiday season, watch out for malware masquerading as flight information.

SCAMwatch is warning travellers to watch out for scam emails with fake flight itineraries attached – these attachments may harbour malicious software.

Scammers are posing as legitimate airline companies and sending out these emails in an attempt to steal your passwords and other sensitive information.

The scams work by copying the official airline’s layout, corporate colours, imagery and wording – so it’s very easy to be fooled if you’re not paying close attention.

The way you’ll be able to identify fraudulent emails is by checking whether the email address used matches the email address of the official airline (as listed on their website). The content of the email may also contain spelling errors.

If you open the attachment, your computer may become infected by malware.

SCAMwatch urges jet-setters to think twice before opening any suspicious emails or attachments – if in doubt, contact the airline to verify or just press ‘delete’.

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself this holiday season:

  • If you get an email like this but haven’t booked any travel, just press delete.
  • Before opening any emails and attachments, think twice and look for any signs that they might be fake such as odd email addresses or spelling mistakes.
  • If you’re not sure whether an email is a scam, verify the sender by using their official contact details to contact them directly. Never use contact details provided by the caller – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
  • Always keep your computer security up-to-date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall – only buy software from a reputable source.
  • If you have opened something that you think might be suspicious, consider getting your computer scanned and changing passwords.