Free Virgin Airlines first class flights? No, it’s a Facebook scam

Graham Cluley

Free Virgin Airlines first class flights? No, it's a Facebook scam

Virgin airlines stewardessBack in August I wrote about a scam spreading on Facebook, which tricked unsuspecting users into believing that Virgin Airlines was offering 500 free first class tickets.

Unfortunately, as I have described before, these types of scams pop up on Facebook with alarming regularity. People don’t seem to be getting the message about these types of scams and continue to share them with their friends.

So when fellow Marc Blank-Settle told me that a new version of the Virgin free flights scam had successfully duped thousands of Facebook users once again, I thought maybe it was taking a different approach to get the message out there.

So I made a video.

If you enjoyed the video, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and maybe I will make more in the future.

The messages in these types of scams vary, but here’s what this particular one said:

What an amazing year 2015 is as we officially turn 85 years old! To celebrate our 85th Birthday we are giving away FREE First Class Tickets to anywhere in the world and $5,000 to spend for you and up to 4 of your closest friends and family!

Simply Like and Share this photo then Comment “Happy Birthday!” below.

Remember to Like our page to see who wins!

The idea that Virgin Airlines is giving away first class flights to internet users who wish it “Happy birthday” is preposterous, even before you question whether the firm’s founder Sir Richard Branson could really have founded the company 85 years ago.

It’s never a good idea to Like scam pages, or share them with friends, or leave a comment.

Because if you do, you’re helping the fraudulent page spread further across your social network and opening up opportunities for the fraudsters to send you a message attempting to send you to a malicious link, or trick you into handing over private information, herd you towards a money-making survey scam or bombard you with spam.

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.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

One Reply to “Free Virgin Airlines first class flights? No, it’s a Facebook scam”

  1. 'The idea that Virgin Airlines is giving away first class flights to internet users who wish it "Happy birthday" is preposterous'

    But at least they can now sing happy birthday without the legal challenges from the blatant abuses of the copyright system!

    'It's never a good idea to Like scam pages, or share them with friends, or leave a comment.'

    Granted, but tell that to those who don't know the difference between news and facebook. And then if their imaginary friend (or even on the occasion it is a real life friend) says it is okay surely it must be okay! This is just like spam and malware through email, of course, in that people think associations is all you need (never mind the fact that even if you requested the file, the person sending it might be unaware that it is infected with some virus – or whatever).

    Then again, Bill Gates sent money to people for participating in chain mails (I think that was the requirement but I can't recall for sure)! And there are other known stories that really happened! Or so the scams went.

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