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(fake) flight information from British airways

I tried calling the airlines, and I tried tracking apps.

How can I tell if this flight itinerary is fake?

I spoke to the person before they boarded their flight.


The flight is with British Airways, flight BA0081A and BA0097 on August 8th and August 9th. From Accra Ghana, Kotoka International Airport, to Heathrow then to Tampa International Airport in Florida. The ticket could be a scam, a fake ticket.

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By searching on BA's website I can't see any flight that leaves at that time, the only scheduled flight from Accra to LHR is after 10pm each night. I also searched several other sites getting the same result, no flight matches those flight times.

The flight code itself leads to a LHR - Accra flight, so it's backwards which is also suspicious.

As pointed out by Weather Vane in the comments, the times are also interesting because they either don't match up, or are not shown in the local times which is very unusual.

As for the London to Florida flight, again, the timings are not shown in any local times, and this flight also doesn't exist on BA's site. The flight code doesn't match anything BA provides. The only flights I can see for tomorrow either go from Gatwick, or have a layover at another airport on the way.

All this put together is pointing towards it being fake, I'm sorry.

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    And I suspect the next communication will be along the lines of "Help - I need £500 for immigration fines or I can't enter the country" scam email. – Laconic Droid Aug 8 at 11:42
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    @Michael Huff Supposing the passenger to be Ghanaian, they’d also need a transit visa for the UK and of course a US visa. Pretty difficult to get, so sadly possibly also another indication of the flight itinerary being fake. – Traveller Aug 8 at 11:49
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    Thanks to everyone how help answer my ?? It was greatly appreciated but I doubt I'll be getting any more phone calls from them I just sent him a nice few text messages get stranded you're on your own thanks again people y'all have a great day – Michael Huff Aug 8 at 11:49
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    @MichaelHuff but they won't be stranded; they won't have flown at all. They've just taken your money and mocked up an itinerary. – Ben Watson Aug 9 at 7:47
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This is a fake. One can identify this as follows:

  • Note the different in color and size of some of the text, especially in the first flight departure time, the initial 0 is not the same size and color as the 8:00.

  • IMHO at least the following have been doctored:

    • first flight number, departure date and time and arrival date,
    • second flight month
    • passenger name.
  • BA Flight 81 is LHR-ACC, not ACC-LHR.

  • No ACC-LHR flight at that time.

  • Using the name and PNR, the BA site does not recognise it.

  • No BA Flight 97.

  • BA flights LHR-MIA with a different flight number and different times and different aircraft.

So either the original confirmation is very old, or it was already a fake originally!

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    Additionally, even though some airline systems do represent passenger names in the NAME/NAME format, that format is always LAST/FIRST -- which is wrong here, unless the passenger's surname is Sarah... – Henning Makholm Aug 8 at 13:58
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    Another point: according to planespotters.net/airline/British-Airways, BA does not have, and never has had, any A340 aircraft in its fleet. – Nate Eldredge Aug 8 at 14:03
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    Many or all of these tells are probably deliberate. If would be easy for a scammer to produce a much more convincing fake -- heck, genuine BA confirmations these days are simply "you can print out this HTML email if you want", which are trivial to change details in without any risk of font mismatches. By deliberately making the document look suspect, the scammer avoids wasting time on marks who are too cautious to pay up in the end. – Henning Makholm Aug 8 at 14:03
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    What jumped out for me is the flight timings. LHR-MIA flights are (per Google Flights) 9:20 or 9:45 in length, and LHR-TPA flights if they existed would be similar; and a westbound flight on that route would almost surely be a day flight. Similarly. actual ACC-LHR flights are 6:40. – Michael Lugo Aug 8 at 15:21
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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying it's very obviously a fake because it is. Put that (back?) in the answer with good conscience. If somebody doesn't realize that key parts (like dates and names) of the text were very visibly replaced with different information, then it's high time they learned to pay attention and there is no need to soften the blow. – Gábor Aug 8 at 23:06
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One more way: go to the airline’s website, put in the surname and the six-character confirmation code. You will immediately get either the full true itinerary or the message that there is no such booking.

Note that it’s still (probably) a scam even if not fake. Trivial to book a flight, copy the confirmation, and then cancel.

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    This would certainly work for BA, but some airlines don't allow managing agent-issued tickets from the web site. Nepal Airlines, for example, says the booking is not found if you try to check a flight booked through a travel agent (online or otherwise) – Ayesh K Aug 10 at 18:53
  • I didn't know that. It would work for every airline I've used. – WGroleau Aug 10 at 21:38
  • I assume a cancelled flight would show as such when you tried to look it up. Still, it makes faking it much easier, since you can forward legitimate emails from the transaction and/or take screen shots. – jpaugh Aug 11 at 7:16
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Wow this is an obvious fake. The only thing not obvious to me is what reservation they could've used to doctor because this absolutely is not just editing the passenger ... others already pointed out some problems but there are so many more. Here's a few.

It starts with "BA Booking reference" followed by "TG Booking reference". TG is Thai Airways which has nothing to do with a British Airways Ghana-UK-USA flight given that it does not fly to Ghana or the USA at all and also it is not in an alliance with BA.

Further, there is no such thing as a LHR-TPA flight. Plain and simple, no airlines fly directly between those two. You could search BA, Kayak, Google, check ExpertFlyer, whatever you prefer, but it doesn't exist. Also the flight time is not right, from London to east coast USA it takes eight hours more or less, there is nothing in the USA that'd be 12:20, even LAX is only 11:15.

Further, British Airways does not operate the Airbus 340. Right now, they contracted Air Belgium to fly one from London to Toronto for them but otherwise, it's not in their fleet, plain and simple. https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/about-ba/fleet-facts Their choice of four engine jet is the 747-400 which they also happen to fly on the ACC-LHR route which takes 6:40 and not 8:20. If we presumed this itinerary was starting from Ghana, well, 8:20 is almost exactly Dubai which is 8:00 but the problem then becomes to find a 12:20 flight from Dubai preferably to the east or so and that doesn't exist, Perth is <11hrs, Melbourne >13. I really can't figure out what they doctored for this...

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