Don't fall for free ticket hoax, warns Emirates
Screen grab of the hoax message.
Dubai - Users are promised a chance to win five first-class tickets, along with thousands of dollars if they merely signup to a Facebook page.
Emirates Airline is warning that ongoing hoaxes on social media are using the Emirates name to promote competitions and prizes which have nothing to do with the airline.
In the latest variant of the hoax, from something calling itself "Emirates Air" - which has been popping up periodically since at least early September - users are promised a chance to win five first-class tickets, along with thousands of dollars in spending money, if they merely signup to a Facebook page.
"Attention, share this post then click the "Signup" button on our page and you'll automatically be entered into our drawing where 1,000 people win five all-inclusive first class tickets to anywhere in the world with $5,000 spending money.
Winners will be chosen at random and announced, messaged by our page. Good luck!" reads the latest post.
Previous incarnations of the same scam have promised to give away four-tickets each to up to 25 winners. In a statement, an Emirates spokesperson distanced the airline from such scams and warned social media users that only officially-endorsed Emirates pages would promote deals and contests.
"The recent competition on Facebook offering free flights is a hoax and has nothing to do with Emirates. Our competitions are always run from our officially verified social media channels. Emirates has been working with Facebook to have these pages removed," the spokesperson said.
The latest incident follows a rash of similar scams which have used the names of British Airways, Lufthansa, Delta and Southwest Airlines to dupe Facebook users.
In early 2013, another social media scam, this time using the names "EmiratesPromotions" and "EtihadPromotions" and using the airline's logos on Instagram, promised that the first 20,000 people to follow the page would receive free economy-class tickets to Dubai.
Thousands of people reportedly followed the page before the airlines made statements. At the time, neither Emirates nor Etihad had official Instagram handles.
Hoax Slayer, a popular Internet site dedicated to debunking Internet and e-mail hoaxes and combating Internet scammers, notes that the Emirates incidents are typical examples of "like-farming" scams, in which a page artificially attempts to increase its popularity.
Once a page has accumulated thousands of likes - thereby increasing its value - the unscrupulous "like-farmers" use the page to market questionable services and products, trick people into taking surveys, or even sell the page to other scam artists on the black market. "Like Farming" scams are increasingly common on Facebook.
In the last six months alone, Hoax Slayer has detected similar hoaxes promising the chance to win items including iPhones, a $30,000 diamond ring from Tiffany&Co as well as a Range Rover and tickets on a Carnival cruise.
In one notable incident, scammers promised to give away a luxury villa in the Spanish coastal town of Marbella, using an image of a villa in Cyprus which had been stolen from a booking website.