Southwest Airlines Offers Free Tickets on Facebook-Fiction!

Southwest Airlines Offers Free Tickets on Facebook-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
Social media users have received messages that claim they can receive two free airline tickets from Southwest Airlines.
The Truth:
This is an old scam that has resurfaced in May 2015.
The scam first surfaced in 2011 when Facebook and Twitter users received a message that said, “Receive 2 FREE Southwest Airline Tickets Today!” Southwest Airlines addressed it in a statement then:

“We are aware of the Facebook scam asking you to write on our wall to win free tickets. This is not something hosted by Southwest. We have already reported it and are working as quickly as possible to get to the bottom of it. Sorry for any inconvenience!”

The Southwest Airlines scam has also been known to appear in the comments section of Facebook posts. These comments, which may be posted by a friend or family member whose account has been hacked, can be especially deceiving. In this case, one example provides a link and reads, “Awesome! I just picked up my 2 complementary tickets from Southwest Airlines to fly anywhere I want to! Did NOT trust that it would be true, but it was …”
This fake offer for fee airline tickets is what’s called a survey scam. This type of scam asks its victims to take part in a brief survey in exchange for some type of reward, like free airline tickets. However, when users click on the link, they’ll often find that they’re asked to give out personal information, according to the FTC:

“The personal information is then used against the citizen to commit fraud. For instance, in telephone cramming schemes, a crammer can charge a person’s phone bill for unauthorized products simply by knowing the person’s name and phone number. Or, the scammer may use knowledge obtained during the survey to gain credibility with the consumer. For example, the surveyor may ask the consumer where he banks. Two months later, the scammer may call the citizen back, pose as his bank, tell him there were fraudulent charges against his bank account, and ask for his account number to stop the fraud.

Many people list their phone numbers on the federal ‘Do Not Call’ list. This restricts telemarketers’ ability to call the household. Under federal law, legitimate surveyors may call phone numbers on the Do Not Call registry. Some telemarketers pose as surveyors to try to sidestep the Do Not Call laws.

Fourth, scammers use surveys to obtain a person’s financial information. For instance, some surveyors tell people they will pay them money if they participate in a survey. The surveyor puts up a phony survey and, at the end of the email or call, asks the citizen for their bank account number so they can send the survey payment. The surveyor uses the account number to post phony charges on the consumer’s account.”