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

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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 from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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

Comments (23)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Thegasman says:

    I’m always amazed at the basic spelling & grammar errors in what could otherwise be very convincing scams.

    All the effort to come up with quite a plausible pitch & website yet they don’t bother proof reading/spell checking.

    • Bagoly says:

      Somebody suggested out on a previous article that this is deliberate – the scammers want to filter out as soon as possible people who would realise it is a scam later on.

    • aseftel says:

      Quite. You’d never see basic grammar errors in BA’s copywriting, would you?

  • HH says:

    OK

  • JohnTh says:

    From the normal range of comments elsewhere I would expect most HfPers wouldn’t trust BA with their money (even if it was genuine)?

  • Can says:

    Anyone put their ex-boss’s phone number in the form? :)))

  • Entitled says:

    Does this work with Curve?

  • PaulW says:

    As a data point, my aunt got this email and her email address was born on any BA system proper to February this year. As such it may not have any connection to the data beach, or may not be limited to addresses obtained from it

  • Kay says:

    The scammers are using Mailchimp to send these emails. If you received it, I recommend forwarding the email to abuse@mailchimp.com

    • Rob says:

      It is highly likely to be off a hacked Mailchimp account. You can’t just register on Mailchimp, upload a 100,000 strong email list and blast out an email. Mailchimp (who we use) works with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc to ensure its emails are not treated as spam and in return Mailchimp puts a lot of effort into monitoring who is using its service and what is sent. Hack an established Mailchimp account, however, and you’re away.

  • Rehey says:

    I can spot a total of two errors (1 on each screenshot) posted in the article. Have I missed any more?

    • Rob says:

      The biggest giveaway is actually what is NOT there in terms of legally required disclaimers and warnings.

    • AJA says:

      There are typos. Credit Suisse is not a PLC. The £85k financial protection limit is mentioned twice, why?. The wording generally is weak and poorly phrased; “joint accounts allowed” really???

      It’s clearly a scam but I admit it is clever. I do hope no one has fallen for it.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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