South African Airways Free Flights Survey Scam
Home Scams Watch Out for WhatsApp Scam Messages Offering Free SAA Flights

Watch Out for WhatsApp Scam Messages Offering Free SAA Flights

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

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.

Example

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.



Importance Notice

After 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 You

I 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 Date

Hoax-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!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer