Scam of the day – June 13, 2013 – United Airlines frequent flier scam

Frequent flier miles are a perc that all of the airlines provide and one that can save you a great deal of money on airfare.  Scammers, who are aware that many people are enrolled in the frequent flier programs of the various airlines, are sending out emails, such as the one reproduced below that I received today, attempting to get you to click on the link, which will result in either two things happening and both of them are bad.  In some circumstances, if you click on the link you will go to an official looking website that will require you to enter personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Even more dangerous are the scams where when you click on the link, you unwittingly download keystroke logging malware on to your computer that can steal all of the information from your computer and make you a victim of identity theft.  This scam where you receive an official looking email that tries to lure you to click on a dangerous link is called phishing.  The particular email, reproduced below is not a particularly professional looking scam.  The email address from which it was sent does not mention United Airlines.  The email is not directed to me personally and, in fact, contained no salutation and the email itself carried no logo of the company.  DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK IN THE REPRODUCED EMAIL BELOW.

“You have been awarded 10X of your United Mileage Plus Balance CLICK HERE to view your account balance summary.

Thank you for your co-operation
United Airlines Mileage Plus”

TIPS

Never click on links in emails unless  you are positive that they are legitimate.  In this case, there is little evidence that the email is indeed legitimate.   It is an obvious fraud.   If you have any questions that it might be legitimate, do not click on the link until you have independently verified with the company that the email was indeed legitimate.  Make sure that your computer, smart phone and tablet are protected by the most up to date security software including specific anti-malware software.