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January 7, 2014

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Air passengers target of short message scam

Air passengers are warned to be careful of short message scams that claim that their flights are delayed or canceled and seek bank account details with promises of refunds.

Some of China Eastern and Spring airlines passengers claimed that they received the text messages a day before their flights.

“They had the name and flight number, so I suspect the airline leaked my personal information,” said a China Eastern Airlines passenger surnamed Wu.

Wu booked a Shanghai-Chengdu flight for Sunday on the official website of China Eastern. He received a short message on his mobile phone on Saturday morning saying his flight next day was canceled and that he should “either change or take a refund on his ticket,” Wu said.

Wu called back the number and the “customer service representative” had his name and flight number.

“The person said I was entitled to 100 yuan compensation according to a new stipulation from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and asked me to go to the nearest ATM machine and call the number again,” he said. It was then he realized it was fraud.

Wu then called the official airline number 95530 and was told there was no change on the flight.

In the afternoon, Wu received a similar message again.

“How can they know my personal information?” Wu said.

China Eastern denied leaking passenger information yesterday.

“China Eastern has strictly inspected the ticket booking process and found no evidence that any customer information was leaked,” the airline said on its microblog.

All official information of the airline are sent from the official hotline 95530, China Eastern said.



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