Fact Check

Airline 'Stop List' Phishing Scam

A phishing scam is being spread via purported 'stop list' notifications from various airlines.

Published Mar 10, 2014


Phishing bait:   Passenger "stop list" notifications from various airlines.


Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2014]

Email from Support Manager on 3-10-2014

Note from JetBlue Airways

Passenger Notification

We regret to inform you that following the recent incident we have to include you in the stop list of our air company. Though we can still offer you a positive solution that could help to settle this matter.

Please check your status and clients history here.

Support Manager,
Daniel Hardin

Southwest Airlines Informational letter

Dear Client, I am directed to inform you that you have been included in the stop list of our air company since 03/07/2014 and no services will be rendered to you in the following two years.

Please open the link and find out what circumstances forced us to make such decision.

Support Manager,
Jayden Moreno


Origins:   In March 2014, Internet users began receiving messages like the ones reproduced above that purported to be notifications from "Support Managers" at various airlines (e.g., Southwest, JetBlue). Such messages informed recipients that they had been placed on the referenced airline's "stop list" (i.e., denied future services) and included instructions for them to follow a hyperlink or open an attachment in order to "find out what circumstances forced us to make such [a] decision" or to "check your status and clients history" — a process that would lead them not to viewing a document but into launching an executable file.

The messages are part of a scam, not legitimate notifications from airlines. Internet users should avoid falling victim to attempts to obtain personal information from them or compromise their computers with malware by deleting such messages without following any of the enclosed links.

Last updated:   10 March 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.