500 free Virgin Airlines flights being given away on Facebook? It's a scam

Facebook scamI noticed earlier today that a friend of mine had decided to Like a curious post on Facebook.

Thousands of Facebook users had believed that the message, which claimed to offer 500 free flights with Virgin Airlines if you *just* clicked "Like", left a comment and shared the post with their friends, was genuine.

But it wasn't, it was a scam.

Facebook Virgin Airlines scam

Today is an incredible day at Virgin Airlines as we are officially celebrating seating over 150 million passengers since 2014!! To celebrate we are giving away 500 FREE first class flights for the entire year to a few of our lucky fans!!

Want to win? You must Share this picture and like the page! then Comment Thank You below.

Winners will be decided on August 8 2015

Remember to Like our page to see who won.

Liking the page, sharing the picture and leaving a comment doesn't instantly lead you into peril - but you've just given the fraudsters behind the "Virgin Airline." (note the period at the end of the name) an easy way to bombard you with messages in the future, and furthermore you're endorsing the page and encouraging your friends to do the same thing.

Fake Virgin Airlines Facebook page

The scammers' plan is to trick as many people as possible into liking the page, and then (at some future point in time) they will start spamming your newsfeed with links that might be designed to make them money, or may be designed to trick you into visiting dangerous webpages.

And no, no-one is ever going to get a free flight with Virgin Airlines for liking or sharing the page. Sorry.

Next time, be more choosy about what you share with your friends on social networks, and the pages you agree to like. Facebook's security team has now removed the page, but I have no doubt there are plenty of others tricking unsuspecting users right now.

If you are on Facebook, and want to be kept updated with news about security and privacy risks, and tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.

Tags: , , ,

Smashing Security podcast
Check out "Smashing Security", the new weekly audio podcast, with Graham Cluley, Carole Theriault, and special guests from the world of information security.

"Three people having fun in an industry often focused on bad news" • "It's brilliant!" • "The Top Gear of computer security"

Latest episode:

, , ,

3 Responses

  1. Johnny Yuma

    August 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

    A few years ago I tried an experiment: Just to see if a humanoid could live a full and meaningful life without Facebook in the 21st century, I dumped my Facebook account.

    Against all odds, I've managed to survive. What's more, I don't miss the scams, the bitching and bickering, or the constant chatter and background noise of the mass monkey mind—bought and paid for by the loss of privacy and security that is Facebook's real price of admission. As a result, I've actually managed to retain some tranquility.

    I wonder what would happen if the millions of Facebook addicts just said "No" for a week, or better yet a month.

  2. Coyote

    August 6, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    Funny, that. Your RSS feed shows Facebook but later in the title, which I skipped over (saw the 500 free ..). I had this hunch that it would be a facebook scam (I'm on the fence of whether facebook is a scam itself but for now I'll err on the side of 'not'). But what is more interesting for me, is that I recently thought of how few facebook (if any) scams have been reported here, in recent months…

    Is this like spammers in that the quantity (and attempts of) spikes at times, based on (example) botnet activity, or is it just nothing to report on? I would think it is more common but I suppose I'm lucky I don't know for certain.

  3. Anonymous

    August 25, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    This is definitely a new method to me, trying to gain credibility before the spam is sent. Have you heard of scams operating like this before Graham?

Leave a Reply