British Airways and Flybe warn travellers to avoid fake discount and competition scams

BRITISH holidaymakers are being warned not to fall for the latest scams offering discount flights on airlines such as British Airways and Flybe.

British Airways told its customers not to be fooled by dodgy emails claiming to be from the airline promising free flights and the chance to win a £1,000 flight.

The shady emails, which initially appear to be from a BA address but are from fraudsters, state: "Don't think twice. This offer is available today only!"

Recipients are invited to click on a link to select their "dream destination", but the link then asks for personal details, which the fraudsters can use to steal identities.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, British Airways said: "We’re aware there are some fake competitions being shared on Facebook offering “2 Free Airline tickets from British Airways”. This is not a legitimate competition. Please do not click on any links or share the post with your friends. Please report the post to Facebook. All genuine competitions are posted on this British Airways page."

Meanwhile, Flybe, has also been targeted in scam promos posted on Facebook in a disguised as a competition named "Get 2 Free Flybee (sic) Airline Tickets on its 20th Birthday".

The budget airline say the competition is not legitimate and has told customers not to click on any links or share the post with friends.

It also told them to report the post immediately to Facebook and stressed that genuine competitions are only posted on the official Flybe Facebook page.

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According to a report from the City of London Police National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, £11.5 million was lost to travel fraudsters in 2015, up more than 400 per cent on the previous year.

Consumer group Action Fraud advises the public not to reply to unsolicited emails, texts or calls offering holidays at very low prices.

"Remember, don't click on any links within these emails and texts, or open any attachments, as they may lead to malicious websites or downloads," it said.

How can you spot a scam and what signs you should look out for?

It can be difficult to spot a scam and fraudsters can be very creative – it could be a scam if they:
– contact you out of the blue
– make promises that sound too good to be true – if something sounds too good to be true it probably is
– ask you to pay for something up-front – for example, they'll ask you to pay a fee before you can claim a prize
– ask you to make a quick decision by saying things like ‘if you don’t act now you’ll miss out’. This puts you under pressure and doesn’t give you time to think
– be over-familiar and over-friendly with you
– tell you an offer has to be kept secret
– ask for your bank account details. Never give your bank details to people you don’t know, especially people you meet online
– give a mobile number or PO Box number as the contact for theircompany- these are easy to close and difficult to trace. It may be a sign that the company doesn’t exist or isn't legitimate. Check out the company's details with Companies House or look on the internet for more details about them.

Source: Citizens Advice

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