Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Look out for convincing BA-branded investment scam emails – linked to data breach?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

If you receive a fairly convincing (to the untrained eye) email from British Airways offering you the chance to invest in a special debt instrument paying 3.3% and focused on sustainable investments, ignore it. It is a scam.

The first people to contact me about this were caught up in the British Airways data breach of a couple of years ago, and I assumed that the scammers were using that email list. I have since heard from someone who has a non-BAEC relative who received it, however, so this may be a red herring or there may be multiple stolen databases being used.

It is very important that you do NOT respond to this email in any way. Whilst the website it leads you to is professionally done, I also recommend not visiting it in case it attempts to install something on your computer.

British Airways investment bond sustainability scam

This is the email you may receive:

British Airways investment bond sustainability scam

There are enough clues here that this is a scam IF you know what you are looking for. This is partly down to the wording used, partly due to official disclaimers which should be there and partly down to the way the emails were sent. However, it is 100 times more convincing than your usual scam email.

What the scammers got right was setting the return at 3.3% which is not high enough to shout ‘scam’ but high enough to encourage people to hand over their telephone number to find out more.

If you click through, which I don’t recommend, you are taken to a fairly convincing BA-branded website. (The top image above is taken from it.) The font is typical of British Airways and the site uses wording from the BA sustainability website, including official BA photos and a video.

Is there anything in the extract below that looks dodgy? Not much:

British Airways sustainability bond investment scam

Suffice it to say, if you receive one of these emails then you should bin it. You may also want to double-check that any less financially knowledgeable friends or relatives who may have been caught in the data breach (assuming that this is at least one of the sources of the email list used) are aware.

I promise you …. if you submit your telephone number via the online form on the website, you will be plagued by scam investment calls for the rest of your days.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (24)

  • Nick says:

    I wonder if BA EC will be sending out an email warning their members about this scam? ….No, I thought not!

  • Mayfair Mike says:

    Credit Suisse PLC is the big oddity. No such thing. Its a Swiss listed bank…and they are brokers to EZJ so I doubt would be sponsoring an IAG product!

    • qrfan says:

      Incorrect. Credit suisse uk plc exists. All big international banks have London subsidiaries. https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/02009520

      • Rob says:

        It exists – probably just to protect the name from being registered by someone else – but it would never be used to describe the operating entity in marketing material.

        • qrfan says:

          Read the filing history in the link. £10bn AUM. It’s not just to keep the name from being used.

          • Rob says:

            Trust me, the scammers pulled this name out of a hat. Would have taken 5 seconds online to find something more believable, like Credit Suisse Asset Management or Credit Suisse Securities. Even Credit Suisse GmbH would have sounded more likely.

  • Doogie says:

    The email address I had it sent to is not one that I have registered with BA – I use my own domain so use sitenameorrandomthingiwanttouse @mydomain – my one that they used shows up in 4 different breaches at haveibeenpwned

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.