‘All Inclusive Southwest Vacation’ Facebook Like-Farming Scam

Facebook Page that appears to be associated with Southwest Airlines claims that you can win a package containing four tickets for an all-inclusive Southwest vacation and $5,000 in cash, just by sharing a promotional post, liking the Page, and adding a comment.

Brief Analysis:
The Facebook Page is fraudulent. It is not associated with Southwest Airlines and it is not giving away prize packages as claimed. The Page is designed to rapidly accumulate as many likes as possible so that it can be either reused to launch further scams or sold on the black market to other scammers.

Attention! We have 950 packages, each one contains Four tickets for an All Inclusive Southwest Vacation, $5,000 in cash, exclusive items and more!
To win just Share & Like Our Page Then (Comment with “All-Inclusive”)
Good luck! Like our page for winners announcements.Southwest Air Like-Farming Scam

Detailed Analysis:
According to this Facebook Page, which at first take appears to belong to US-based Southwest Airlines,  the company is giving away 950 packages each of which contains four tickets for an all-inclusive Southwest Vacation, $5000 in cash, and other goodies. For a chance to win, you are instructed to share the post promoting the prize, like the Page, and add the comment ‘All-Inclusive’.

However, the Facebook Page is fraudulent and is in no way associated with Southwest Airlines. There are no prizes and no winners. The fake Page is just one among a great many similar scam giveaway Pages designed to trick people into liking and sharing in the hope that they will win the promised prize.

The goal of the Page is simply to harvest as many Page likes as possible in the shortest possible time.  By fooling people into sharing and commenting on the bogus prize post, the scammers ensure that their Page will be noticed by an increasing number of Facebook users. And, as a result, they will gain a great many new Page likes, often in just a few days.

Once the bogus Facebook Page has gathered a large number of likes, the scammers then have a couple of options.  They can sell the Page on the black market to other scammers, who will refocus it to foster their own nefarious goals. Or, they may use the Page to set up and promote survey scams, or other types of fraudulent activity, this time to a much larger audience. The like-farming stage gathers a large pool of potential victims so that later scams run from the Page will earn more money.

The genuine Southwest Airlines Facebook Page, which features Facebook’s blue ‘verified’ tick, is informing customers about the scam Page via comment replies such as the following:

That promotional Facebook page is not associated with Southwest Airlines, and we’re working with the site to get the page disabled. 

Note also that the genuine Facebook Page is called ‘Southwest Airlines’. The scam Page is called ‘Southwest Air.’ with the period at the end forming part of the name.  Like-farmers often manage to create Facebook Pages with names very similar to those of the companies they are targeting by simply adding punctuation marks such as periods to the end of the title.

Be very wary of any Facebook Page or post that promises prizes such as airline tickets, vacations, cruises, cars, tech gear, gift cards, or store vouchers just for liking, sharing, and commenting. Don’t play into the hands of these scammers by participating in their fraudulent giveaway schemes.

Last updated: March 15, 2016
First published: March 15, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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