Airline ticket confirmation e-mails a new haven for fraud

I recently received the fraudulent e-mail message that’s copied at the bottom of this post. It has all of the hallmarks of the classic e-mail scam:

 ·        It references my recent purchase, but I haven’t purchased any tickets on Delta.

 ·        “Joe Abraham” did not send it from a Delta e-mail address.   

 ·        It has a ZIP attachment that “Joe” tells me to print.

 ·        It contains grammar mistakes (for example:We recommend you to print PASSENGER ITINERARY RECEIPT and take it alone to the airport.”)


 ·        It contains the promise of something for nothing. (I didn’t buy this ticket, but can I get a free trip if I print out the itinerary and take it to the airport?)

If you’ve received this e-mail or something like it, tell us about it in the comments section below. If you’re not sure what to do with the message, see How to handle suspicious e-mail.

For more information on how to spot classic e-mail scams like this one, see Recognize phishing scams and fraudulent e-mail.

—–Original Message—–

From: Joe Abraham [mailto:anton@ucoz.com]

Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 1:05 AM

To: Marcelle Amelia

Subject: Confirmation of ticket purchase DOW4P5GZSV

Thanks for the purchase!

Booking number: 68Q5R0EPNMTW

You will find attached to this letter PASSENGER ITINERARY RECEIPT of your electronic ticket.

It verifies that you paid the ticket in full and confirms your right for air travel and luggage transportation by the indicated flight Delta Air Lines.

On board you will be offered:

- beverages;

- food;

- daily press.

You are guaranteed top-quality services and attention on the part of our benevolent personnel.

We recommend you to print PASSENGER ITINERARY RECEIPT and take it alone to the airport. It will help you to pass control and registration procedures faster.

See you on board!

Best regards,

Delta Air Lines

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About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »