Once again, it’s time for FareCompare to perform a public service, so here goes: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Like free airline tickets from Southwest.
There aren’t any. Not at the moment anyway.
Ongoing Airline Ticket Scam
Judging by all the tweets and Facebook posts out there, some don’t realize this. No Southwest freebies exist at the moment, and claims that they do are part of an ongoing scam that FareCompare has reported on before (as recently as January). Typically, unsuspecting victims are contacted by either phishing emails or bombarded with social media come-ons via Facebook and Twitter in which recipients are asked to provide a variety of personal information in exchange for so-called free tickets or other lure.
If You’ve been Scammed: Advice from Southwest
FareCompare spoke with Southwest and a representative confirmed that they are not giving away any tickets, and added “We are currently working to squash several scams involving free Southwest tickets. Please do not click any of these links, or give away any of your personal information. If a user has clicked any of these links or supplied personal information to the sites, Southwest recommends users change their account passwords, and check Facebook privacy settings to see if any undesired apps exist.”
Couple of other things you should know, according to Southwest:
- Any official communication from Southwest links to its website or its Nuts about Southwest blog
- Anything posted by Southwest on its Facebook or @SouthwestAir Twitter feed can be trusted
Other Airline Scams
Scams aren’t limited to Southwest, either. American, Delta, United and US Airways have all had their identities hijacked in the name of one scam or another. Most involve phishing which has become synonymous with fake email scam in which recipients are asked to click a link to check on flight details or win a prize or whatever. All airlines have the same advice: do not click on any links.