Team shortlist30 May 2017 AT 12:50 PM

Emirates investigating social media scam that targets Facebook users

Here's how to protect yourself
Team shortlist30 May 2017 AT 12:50 PM
UAE, Dubai News, Travel, Emirates
© Shutterstock
UAE, Dubai News, Travel, Emirates
© Shutterstock

If you happen to see an “Emirates” Facebook survey that claims to give you free flights, don’t click on it; report it.

The airline has revealed that its branding has been used by online scammers looking to get personal banking details from its loyal clientele.

And, while the scam does not take place on Emirates’ official websites or Facebook page, it has managed to trick a few people by posing as the airline on Facebook.

Taking form as an official Emirates Airline survey and using the airline’s official logo, the scam offers participants two free tickets if they complete a questionnaire.

To further entice readers to take part, it claims to only have a limited number of tickets left.

“Congratulations! You have been selected to take part in our short survey to get two free Emirates tickets. We only have 332 tickets remaining so hurry up,” the “offer” reads.

Once readers click on the link, they are asked a series of questions, including, “Have you ever travelled with the airline?”

During this time, hackers gain access to the participant’s online device and attempt to steal their personal information including bank details.

Addressing the incident, an Emirates spokesperson gave an official statement via email to Arabian Business. “Emirates has become aware of fraudulent websites purporting to come from the company claiming to offer free airline tickets to those who take an online survey.

“We advise not to click on any links or share these links on social media. Emirates is investigating the source of the scam and will take appropriate legal action against the perpetrators.”

This isn’t the first time that Emirates’ has been targeted by malicious online activity. Last year, a Facebook page claiming to be the award-winning airline was "giving away" free first class flights to those who won its online competition.

We’ve gathered some points to help prevent you from falling victim to said scams…

Check the group’s page likes.
An award-winning airline like Emirates is bound to have hundreds of thousands of likes. So, if the page has 200 or even 20,000, it’s a scam. The best way to get on to the right Facebook page is to click on a link through the airline's official website or by looking for the group's authentication stamp, which in this case would be a blue tick.

Call the source.
If an offer sounds too good to be true, call the airline’s information desk and ask about the various offers that are running.

If you suspect that you’ve fallen victim to an online scam, here’s some pointers on what you should do... 

Contact your bank immediately.
Call you bank and inform them of the situation. The sooner you do so, the better.

Isolate your computer
You do this by cutting off your internet connection completely - this means turning off your internet router, removing your internet cable or internet dongle. Simply turning off your Wi-Fi connection is not enough as hackers often alter your settings to make it seem your Wi-Fi connection is off when it's not. 

Shut down your device and remove the hard drive.
The best way to treat an infected computer is by removing the hard drive and connecting it to a secondary computer that will act as a non-bootable drive. Before doing so, make sure that the computer that you plan on using as a secondary device has up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

Reinstall all of your apps and backed up files.
Once you’ve run a series of virus and malware scans and have successfully removed the malware, you can then re-download all of your apps and backed up files. After you’ve done this, reconnect your hard drive to the previously infected computer. 

Comments