According to posts that are currently appearing on Facebook, Southwest Airlines is giving 500 people free round trip flights to their desired destination.
Supposedly, for a chance to win, all you need to do is share and comment on the post and then click a link to validate your entry.
The posts, which feature images of a Southwest Airlines aircraft, claim that the company is giving away the flights to show appreciation for customer support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the posts are not associated with Southwest Airlines in any way. No flights are being given away and people who participate have no chance of winning anything at all.
The posts are scams designed to trick people into divulging their personal and financial information on a bogus website.
If you click the link in the posts, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that claims that you must click a “Validate Entry” button and “fill out a couple of questions” to get your chance to win.
However, the button does not open a prize entry form as you might expect. Instead, it opens a second scam website that promises free video streaming of sporting events to people who register. Despite its claims to be free, however, the site insists that you provide your credit card details, ostensibly as a means of verifying your eligibility to join. Many people report that they have been unexpectedly charged fees for “premium” memberships when signing up to such “free” streaming services. Moreover, it can be very difficult to get refunds and unsubscribe from such services.
Any service that uses deliberately deceptive promotion schemes such as fake air ticket giveaways should never be trusted with your credit card details or any other personal information.
If one of these scam posts hits your News Feed, do not click on it. And let the person who shared it know that the supposed giveaway is a scam.
Southwest Airlines is warning people about the scam via its official Facebook Page:
Different versions of the scam post may have different times and dates for the supposed prize entry. Varients of the scam are also targeting other airlines, including Qantas.
A screenshot of one of the scam posts:
A screenshot of the scam website:
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!