Although we may all like to think we know what to look out for when it comes to scams (bad grammar, spelling mistakes, requests for personal information), scammers have gotten harder to spot.
When a tempting offer is dressed up with an official logo and endorsements from friends, it’s all too easy to forget the telltale warning signs of a scam.
Right now an enticing scam is circulating on Facebook promising travelers a free vacation package from Southwest Airlines.
The post tells Facebook users to share and like the post, then comment a number in order to be entered for a chance to win four tickets to any Southwest destination along with a $300 Southwest gift card.
However, it’s not even slightly real.
Although it’s unclear how the scam—which was spotted by the founder of Airline Geeks, Ryan Ewing—swipes information from users, one thing is for certain: Nobody who commented, liked or shared this post will win a free vacation.
Travelers who are feeling lucky should remember that legitimate giveaways are always posted on an airline’s official social media channels. (Look for the checkmark in the blue circle.)
If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“We’re available on our official pages if Customers are ever unclear whether something is real,” a Southwest spokesperson told Travel + Leisure. “And we always ask that if someone sees a phony page, they report it to Facebook and let their friends, family, and followers know not to click on any links associated with a fake page.”
But not all is lost for people who love entering contests: There is currently one giveaway that is confirmed by Southwest and Lilly Pulitzer. Travelers can win gift cards for both businesses by providing their name and email address to Lilly Pulitzer.
Stay safe out there.