Airline Scam Update – Phony Ticket Giveaways, Phishing Emails

A good scam never really disappears – not as long as people keep falling for it. That appears to be what’s happening with a so-called ticket giveaway that’s hit several states and is now working its way across Alaska.

Did you fall for the Southwest scam?

Free Tickets that Cost Money

According to news reports, offers of free airline tickets have been received by thousands of Alaska residents but the problem is, the supposedly free tickets come with plenty of strings – and fees. In order to get the tickets, the recipient is typically required to attend a high-pressure sales meeting to join a travel club that may have dues in the thousands of dollars. As for the tickets, many (if not most, or all) come loaded with taxes, fees and various processing charges not to mention an extremely limited time frame in which to use them. Not illegal, exactly – perhaps – but you may not know about the fine print and the monetary outlay for you until it’s too late.

What exactly is phishing?

Phishing Scams Still Active

Those phony emails that appear to be coming from your airline are alive and well, too. American still features a “New Phishing Email Alert” warning on its website homepage and you’ll find information about these fake messages at the following links:

Two tips you should always follow if you suspect you’ve received a phishing email or anything that does not seem legitimate:

  1. Do not open any links in the email
  2. Contact the airline immediately


Published: August 12, 2013