American Airlines says hackers have sent out "phishing" emails intended to mislead people into giving up private information such as their passwords to the airline's reward program. (Ron Jenkins / Fort Worth Star-Telegram )
By Hugo Martin
January 2, 2012, 12:59 p.m.
If you get a suspicious email that appears to be from American Airlines, it could be part of a scam to pilfer personal information.
The airline suspects that hackers have sent out, as recently as November, what are known as "phishing" emails intended to mislead people into giving up information such as their passwords to the airline's reward program.
To warn customers, American Airlines has posted several examples of the phony emails on its website.
One such email says the recipient has paid $278 for a flight to New York and should download the ticket. Another offers the recipient $50 to take a five-question survey.
The airline warned anyone who gets the bogus emails not to click on any links, open any attachments or call the listed phone numbers. Instead, the airline asks recipients to forward the emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We are aware of the scam," spokesman Ed Martelle said. "It is being investigated by our corporate security department so we can find a way to shut it down."