This week has seen a rise in fake airline giveaways on Instagram, prompting some carriers to respond.
A fake giveaway claiming to be United Airlines – with a profile named “_United_Airlines_” posted:
We are happy to announce the first 100,000 followers to share this page will receive one roundtrip ticket to any U.S. location. #unitedairlinestoday
A previous fake Instagram account was spotted using the name “unitedairlinesofficial” which appears to have been removed. United has issued several responses to these fake giveaways, such as when a Twitter user asked about one of these fake accounts.
United told another Twitter user that they were working with Instagram to remove the fake profiles:
United also posted on Instagram regarding the fake giveaways, stating, “Our official Instagram account is @united. If you see fake accounts like this or others please mark as spam and don’t share or follow. #united #unitedairlines”
Another fake airline giveaway is in the name of West Jet. This account, named “westjetfly” also claims:
West Jet is proud to announce that the first 25k people to follow and shout us out will receive 2 round tickets to anywhere in Canada/USA.
When a Twitter user asked about the Instagram profile above, West Jet responded with a single word: #hoax
United Airlines and West Jet are not giving away thousands of free tickets on Instagram. If you see one of these fake accounts, report it as spam.
Fake giveaways are rampant on social media. When in doubt, navigate to the company’s official website and look for their social media icons to find their correct, official profiles. You may also look at the verified accounts on Facebook or Twitter to find links to profiles for other social media sites.