Watch Out for WhatsApp Scam Messages Offering Free SAA Flights

Message being distributed via WhatsApp entices you to follow a link to complete a survey for the chance to win two free South African Airways tickets to anywhere in the world.

Brief Analysis:
The message is a scam. It is not associated with South African Airways and those who participate have no chance whatsoever of getting any free air tickets. The message is designed to trick you into spamming your WhatsApp friends with the same fake giveaway and divulging your personal information on suspect third-party websites.

South African Airways Free Flights Scam

Detailed Analysis:
According to a message that is being distributed via WhatsApp, you can follow a link for a chance to win free tickets to anywhere in the world with South African Airways (SAA).  However, the message has no connection to South African Airways and no free air tickets are being given away. In fact, the message is a scam designed to harvest your personal information.

Since the message will come from one of your WhatsApp contacts, you may be more likely to take the bait and follow the link. If you do open the link, you will be taken to a website that first asks you to fill in a brief survey and then “checks” your answers to see if you qualify for the prize. But, no matter how you answer, the fake qualifying process will claim that you have won. You will be taken to a second page that claims that, before receiving your two free tickets, you must first send the same message to 10 of your WhatsApp friends.

You will then be taken to a second page that informs you that, before claiming your two free tickets, you must first send the same message to 10 of your WhatsApp friends.

Next, you will be told that you must verify your claim by following more links to fill in online surveys or offers. However, the sites that the links open will ask you to provide your name and contact details, ostensibly as a means of entering the draw for further prizes. The information you provide will be shared with unscrupulous marketing companies who will subsequently inundate you with unwanted and annoying phone calls, text messages, emails, and surface letters.

The scammers who created the fake free ticket campaign will earn commissions each time someone provides his or her details on one of the dodgy survey sites.

SAA has published a warning via its Facebook Page confirming that the WhatsApp message is a scam. The warning notes in part:

JOHANNESBURG. 30 January 2017. South African Airways (SAA) would like to warn customers of a hoax survey prevalent on social media suggesting SAA is offering free tickets to fly anywhere. “SAA is neither conducting an online survey nor offering free flight tickets. We have no association whatsoever with this so-called survey. Free flight tickets are a luxury we cannot afford at this stage as the airline is focusing on restoring financial stability and is managing its costs to improve its performance,” said SAA Spokesperson, Tlali Tlali.

If you receive one of these messages, do not follow any links that it contains. And let the friend who sent it to you know that the message is a scam.


Last updated: February 1, 2017
First published: February 1, 2017
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

There is a Whatsapp scam doing the rounds.