American Airlines Email Scam Targets Columbia Residents

3 years 5 months 3 weeks ago July 26, 2013 Jul 26, 2013 Friday, July 26 2013 Friday, July 26, 2013 12:56:00 PM CDT in News
By: Sam Hustis, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - You may not know Irina Kravchenko or Lidiya Semyonov , but you might be recieving an email from American Airlines saying you bought plane tickets for them.

This is what happened to Mark Johnson, a Student Media Coordinator at Mizzou, who was targeted in an email phishing scam. He recently recieved an email from an unknown source pretending to be American Airlines saying that he had bought two round trip tickets from Columbia to Dallas and then Las Vegas. The price? $1932.75 dollars.

"This was probably the most perfect scam I'd seen," Johnson said. "They definately copied everything almost exactly to a tee that you would see in a normal American Airlines email itinerary."

The email included false links to hotel booking sites, car rental services, even a long and detailed terms and conditions section that gave information about baggage charges. 

"It was almost to the point where, had this been legitimate, they're doing a service. They could be an airline company, they've got everything that the client would need," Johnson said.

"Don't trust unsolicited emails, even if they do appear to come from legitimate companies," said Mike Harrison, the Mid-Missouri Regional Director of the Better Buisness Bureau. "If folks have any questions about that, they can contact that company or that agency directly."

Harrison said there are several other ways that one can help protect themselves from email scams. When reading an email that you are unsure of the sender, do not open any attachments or click on any links in the body of the email. These can potentially lead to your computer getting a virus or some sort of malware, a term short for malicious software.

One way to check a link without clicking on it is to hover your mouse over it. On the bottom left of your computer screen the URL of where the link will send you will appears. For example: if you hover your mouse over THIS link, you should see the URL http://www.google.com/ appear. Obviously, Google is a site you can trust, and therefore can feel safe clicking the link. Many times scam emails will send you to a long, complicated URL with numbers and letters that do not make sense.

"You want to delete those suspicious emails," Harrison said. "Not only from your inbox, but you also want to delete that from your spam folder or trash folder."

Latisha Stroer, a member of the Columbia Police Department said many times scam emails will use a false sense of urgency to trick people into giving out personal information.

"That's what we see a lot of the times. 'You need to send money now, if you're going to buy this product it needs to be now.' If it's a legitimate buisness, they're going to let you make that decision on your own," Stroer said.

Many email scams hinge on tricking people into giving out personal information, and keeping that information private is the most important thing you can do.

"Don't give out a Social Security number, don't give out credit card information, don't give out bank account information, don't give out any personal information whether it's by email or over the phone," said Harrison. "You don't want to give that information out."

Johnson, who said he considers himself familiar with computers, was able to tell that the email was a scam but said he would be worried if someone not as tech-savvy as himself recieved it.

"If that scam came to somebody who didn't know what scams look like, or was expecting the scam to be the Nigerian prince, you know asking for money, it could easily get many people into a lot of trouble," Johnson said.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Thousands of protesters, mostly women, gathered in Missouri's two biggest cities and Kansas' capital city in... More >>
8 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:44:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A central Missouri technical college plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the school's... More >>
8 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:37:52 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is making a school choice measure called education savings accounts a priority... More >>
8 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:32:26 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Mid-Missouri Solidarity March was organized by area organization to support the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on... More >>
10 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Counselors helped Columbia residents sign up for health care insurance Saturday, amid rising concern over the repeal of... More >>
11 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 5:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Stephens College hosted its first "Fallopian Fest" Saturday. Stephens College student and one of the directors of... More >>
12 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 3:54:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — "The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution" author, Dr. Lynn Rossy, spoke at the Boone County Historical Museum Saturday. The... More >>
16 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:51:00 AM CST in News
BOONVILLE — Several Missouri National Guard Specialists are preparing to leave for their final segment of training before departing for... More >>
16 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:39:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a man in connection with a shooting death last summer in Kansas City,... More >>
16 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:19:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police and court records said a man accused of fatally shooting a St. Louis apartment complex's... More >>
16 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:16:04 AM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwestern Missouri woman faces up to 23 years in federal prison after admitting in court that... More >>
17 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:10:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man has been ordered to spend two decades in prison after admitting in court that... More >>
17 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:31:15 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis 18-year-old has been jailed on $250,000 bond after being accused of wounding her... More >>
18 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:13:19 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Missouri is the only state without a prescription drug-monitoring program in place, but officials in Columbia are hoping... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 6:34:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — At their Jan. 10 Court en Banc meeting, the judges of the 13th Judicial Circuit elected their new... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 5:39:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — A Columbia man has pled guilty Friday to three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 4:43:00 PM CST in Top Stories
FRANKLIN COUNTY (AP) — Franklin County Sheriff's Office charged a man Friday after Authorities say he killed his ex-girlfriend in... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:55:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — All across the country televisions were set to the presidential inauguration to see Donald Trump take office. Craig... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:20:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
5am 41°
6am 40°
7am 45°
8am 44°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Wild About Animals
5:00a
Huntline TV
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Dateline NBC
7:30p
Ted
6:00p
Beverly Hills Ninja
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld