How To Spot A Fake Airline “Free Flights” Facebook Promo Scam

At first glance this Facebook post looks quite enticing and stopped me in my tracks as I scrolled through my news feed (by the time you read this, Facebook may have removed the post and page).

The branding is identical to Virgin Atlantic’s, the “blank cheque” boarding pass aesthetic is bound to make the viewer excited, and more than 30 000 likes, close to 60 000 shares, and more than 40 000 comments certainly does its bit to lend the post some social proof.

It even has an official-looking IATA badge at the bottom.

And the prize? 600 first class flights for you and 5 friends to a dream destination of your choice anywhere in the world and $5,200 spending money! That’s enough to enlist a quick like, share and comment from me even if it does sound too good to be true.

Virgin_Airline_Facebook_Scam

The ingredients of a fake Facebook post

But let’s take a moment to dissect this post and identify the elements which make this a sure-fire Facebook scam.

Firstly, the page name, “Virgin.”. Notice that subtle full stop after the brand name? It wouldn’t be there if the original Virgin and Virgin Atlantic Facebook pages didn’t already exist.

On further inspection we perhaps want to find out more about the company turning to the “About” section to the left for more info.

Fake_Virgin_Airline_Facebook_Page

As you can see Facebook prompts you to “Ask for Virgin.’s website”. Seems strange that a big brand like Virgin wouldn’t have bothered to include this when setting up their company page doesn’t it. Also, there are no contact details – no phone number, physical address, or email address.

In addition to the above, you cannot write on this pages wall and there is zero engagement with fans from the admin.

There are no customer reviews.

The page has no history and was started in 2015.

The competition has no terms & conditions. For such a big prize, this should be mandatory. If it were authentic it would be mandatory, even for much smaller giveaways.

The promo post makes reference to the competition as “to celebrate serving One Hundred Million passengers!” – too ambitious a number for any airline – to find out more solid Virgin Atlantic facts click here.

What’s more is this fake page which already has 17K followers links to this equally dubious “Virgin Airline.” (the full stop again) page with a Virgin Australia logo as its profile picture. The latter has only 156 likes; as I am writing this and refreshing that number is speedily increasing.

The real Virgin Group Facebook pages are identifiable by the small ‘Verified’ blue tick Facebook gives to such multinational established brands using Facebook. These fake pages don’t have it.

In this case it seems like a cheap and nasty way for Vacation Visions to drum up some social media support for its company page. One of the requirements of the fake promo is to “Like This Page Vacation Visions”.

Virgin Atlantic representatives in South Africa have been notified of this fake Facebook page and are working to get it removed.

For the real Virgin Atlantic follow here.

Our Readers Comments

  1. I’m a sixteen years old boy and I find this scam to be completely wrong, as they try to bring down the images of worthy company. Richard Branson must be notified.

  2. Thanks for writing this. One i saw on a friend’s page tipped me off because it say, “We will giveaway 700 tickets. Should, in that case, say we will give away 700…”

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