DALLAS (NewsNation) — With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, airport holiday travel is going to ramp up. Now, authorities are warning travelers of new fake social media scams, where accounts pretend to be airlines in an attempt to scam customers.
The new wave of travel scams is targeting flyers facing cancellations and delays.
Fake airline accounts are responding to frustrated travelers turning to social media for answers to their delayed or canceled flights, especially those posting on X, formerly known as Twitter. While the traveler is looking for assistance from the airline companies on the platform, fake scammer bots are out there impersonating these accounts and responding as the airline.
These accounts look almost identical to the real, verified accounts. They will respond and ask for all your flight information and personal information along with a fee. But this is a trap.
Travelers must look carefully at the account that responded to them, checking the spelling of the social media handle and profile image. Social media users should also look for the gold check mark which means X has verified the account as a legitimate business.
“If I reach out with a problem, and they give me an answer, and they make that public, and you have the same problem, they’re able to serve 1000s of customers in one sentence. Imagine that in real time,” business strategist Marve Bailer said. “So that was the goal of this idea in the first place. And what’s happening is we have bad actors ruining this experience.”
Several airlines told NewsNation that the best way to reach an airline on social media is to send a direct message to the official airline account. Otherwise, if you are struggling to get customer service, travelers should go to the airline’s website or pick up the phone and call.
NewsNation travel editor Peter Greenberg said the best way to avoid these scams is to not provide anyone with personal information. He explained if the alleged airline can’t provide you with previous documentation or answers to your security questions, hang up.