Free Virgin Airlines first class flights? No, it’s a Facebook scam

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Virgin airlines stewardessBack in August I wrote about a scam spreading on Facebook, which tricked unsuspecting users into believing that Virgin Airlines was offering 500 free first class tickets.

Unfortunately, as I have described before, these types of scams pop up on Facebook with alarming regularity. People don’t seem to be getting the message about these types of scams and continue to share them with their friends.

So when fellow Marc Blank-Settle told me that a new version of the Virgin free flights scam had successfully duped thousands of Facebook users once again, I thought maybe it was taking a different approach to get the message out there.

So I made a video.

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Free Virgin airline first class flight? It's a Facebook scam | Graham Cluley

If you enjoyed the video, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and maybe I will make more in the future.

The messages in these types of scams vary, but here’s what this particular one said:

What an amazing year 2015 is as we officially turn 85 years old! To celebrate our 85th Birthday we are giving away FREE First Class Tickets to anywhere in the world and $5,000 to spend for you and up to 4 of your closest friends and family!

Simply Like and Share this photo then Comment “Happy Birthday!” below.

Remember to Like our page to see who wins!

The idea that Virgin Airlines is giving away first class flights to internet users who wish it “Happy birthday” is preposterous, even before you question whether the firm’s founder Sir Richard Branson could really have founded the company 85 years ago.

It’s never a good idea to Like scam pages, or share them with friends, or leave a comment.

Because if you do, you’re helping the fraudulent page spread further across your social network and opening up opportunities for the fraudsters to send you a message attempting to send you to a malicious link, or trick you into handing over private information, herd you towards a money-making survey scam or bombard you with spam.

If you are on Facebook, and want to be kept updated with news about security and privacy risks, and tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

One comment on “Free Virgin Airlines first class flights? No, it’s a Facebook scam”

  1. coyote

    'The idea that Virgin Airlines is giving away first class flights to internet users who wish it "Happy birthday" is preposterous'

    But at least they can now sing happy birthday without the legal challenges from the blatant abuses of the copyright system!

    'It's never a good idea to Like scam pages, or share them with friends, or leave a comment.'

    Granted, but tell that to those who don't know the difference between news and facebook. And then if their imaginary friend (or even on the occasion it is a real life friend) says it is okay surely it must be okay! This is just like spam and malware through email, of course, in that people think associations is all you need (never mind the fact that even if you requested the file, the person sending it might be unaware that it is infected with some virus – or whatever).

    Then again, Bill Gates sent money to people for participating in chain mails (I think that was the requirement but I can't recall for sure)! And there are other known stories that really happened! Or so the scams went.

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