(WTNH) – As we approach a busy travel week, air travelers are warned to keep in mind before they reach out for help with flight problems on social media. Scammers may be waiting to take advantage of your situation. We are Stretching Your Dollar with how to protect yourself.
It’s the latest scam hitting social media, fake accounts pretending to be airlines to get your private information.
Wall Street Journal Reporter Dawn Gilbertson put it to the test with this question: “Hey, @southwestair need some help with a couple flight changes.”
The official Southwest account responded right away, this one with a gold checkmark indicating it’s an official business. Minutes later, a fake one responded too, but with non gold check mark. The fake account responded by saying, “Hello, We apologize for the inconvenience caused , Kindly follow back and share your reachable number through DM for a quick response and assistance”
But that direct message with a scammer could lead to identity theft
“They can easily mess with your reservation. They could cancel it. They could change it. On the financial front, the risk is that airlines you know that these imposters could ask for money for things that airlines don’t charge for,” Gilbertson said.
Father of three, Adam Seper, said he was contacted by an apparent Air France scammer after he reached out to the official airline on “X” to check if his flight was canceled
“I got a direct message from what I thought was Air France saying, hey, what’s your phone number? Someone’s going to call you,” Seper said.
Seper said he got on the phone with who he believed was an Air France rep who said the flight was canceled and asked for his booking reference number.
“He’s like, okay, I’m going to send you a link you can click through to that link and you can rebook your your flight. And it was a weird link. It wasn’t obviously like an Air France link. right away I was like, okay, that’s not, that’s not real,” Seper explained.
So be aware this is happening, and be cautious not to give out personal information in a public space like out in the open on social media.
If you’re going to get the airline’s attention on social media, be sure you’re dealing with an authentic account.