Qantas, an Australian airline that is committed to customer service excellence and provides the convenience to passengers of being able to select their in-flight seating with ease, has warned its customers about an email hosting scam involving fake seat selection fees.
This is similar to US Airways recent scandal that was reported earlier this month when customers complained about fraudulent phishing emails they were receiving: This fake deal involved giving consumers incorrect confirmation numbers who were then asked for private account information in an attempt to steal a travelers identity or even worse, gain their credit card information.
However, the Qantas alert is about an unsolicited email, likely to come with an attachment, which appears to be sent by the airline asking for additional fees from passengers that have pre-reserved or booked their seating arrangements online for an upcoming Qantas flight. Unlike an authentic email confirmation that flyers receive that they then must print and take with them to the airport, Qantas pointed out in a statement to ZDNet that these emails are modeled on their own seat selection fee receipts but are obviously fake.
The airline added that the emails can easily be identified as fake from their content: They lack any reference to the flyer’s name, do not include the six digit booking reference or give details about the flight itinerary. Further, they even include inaccurate amounts paid for seat selection.
In addition to alerting customers about this email scam, Qantas also recently warned its customers about another email hoax: Those that fly with its subsidiary low-cost airline Jetstar, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, are at risk of possible emails that contain fake itineraries. In either circumstance, it is advised that passengers on either airline with upcoming travel plans who want to check their flight details go to the "manage your booking" page on the Qantas or Jetstar website.
Qantas Airways’ best advice for its flyers is not to open malware or any email that looks suspicious and does not contain the proper information for their flight. The airline also says not to open any attachments from questionable email addresses as they may contain malware as well.
To guard against malware, computer users may want to install antivirus software and a firewall which can block malware. Also a reliable email hosting service provider can help reduce email-based malware as they tend to monitor both inbound and outbound traffic, offer email spam filtering, and can block emails with malicious content before they are retrieved and downloaded by end-users.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein