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A British Airways Black Friday WhatsApp giveaway scam goes viral

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We had a few emails from readers who have seen a British Airways Black Friday giveaway promotion pop up in their WhatsApp feed, forwarded by a friend. Given the amount of Google traffic to a post about this in our forums, it must be very widespread.

There are elements to it which are convincing, although the language and imagery used should be enough to raise your suspicions.

BA has confirmed to us that it is, indeed, a scam.

British Airways Black Friday Whatsapp scam giveaway

This is what you may see in your feed. It will be forwarded by someone you know, because winners are obliged to forward the offer to 20 friends in order to ‘validate’ their prize.

British Airways Black Friday Whatsapp scam giveaway

This is vaguely realistic, although the colour and font used at the top – plus of course the URL – should concern you.

When you click through, you get this:

British Airways Black Friday Whatsapp scam giveaway

There are elements of this which look real, although issues with the English – ‘2’ instead of ‘two’, the clunky ‘Do you know British Airways?’ question, the weird ‘Greetings’ salutation – would be a flag to most.

Let’s not mention the use of an A380 for a European flight giveaway.

What IS realistic is the prize. Offer 5,000 First Class flights to Sydney and no one is going to believe you. Offer 5,000 economy flights to Europe over the quiet Winter period and it sounds perfectly reasonable.

Rhys has never knowingly turn down the chance of a free flight, so ploughed on. Amazingly, he was a winner:

British Airways Black Friday Whatsapp scam giveaway

Interesting use of 1990’s ticket stock there …..

This is where it went weird though. When he clicked ‘ok’, he was taken to a totally different scam claim page. Suddenly he was thanked for filling in an Amazon customer survey and congratulating him on winning a new iPhone in return for £2 postage!

Unsurprisingly, British Airways told us:

We are aware of a fraudulent promotion that is being shared via WhatsApp and social media, which has been reported. This message is not from British Airways and we advise anyone who receives it not to click any links and to report it as spam or delete it.

Thanks to Mark for this, and for Chudsy1579 for flagging it in our forum.


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Comments (55)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Lady London says:

    My other half thought the Hoover offer had a catch / was a scam but did it anyway and ended up with a free trip to New York.

  • Pete says:

    Hi .I inadvertantly clicked the link and it took me to the page above .I then answered 4 questions , but got out before I clicked on the boxes.Will my phone be compromised .I did a full history and cookie deletion plus a malware and antivirus check and was ok

    • Rob says:

      Almost certainly fine (definitely fine if its an iPhone). They are after your personal details.

    • QwertyKnowsBest says:

      Almost certainly fine, but if you could just provide your main card number, expiry date and PIN I will check for you 😉

      • Skywalker says:

        Qwerty – you forgot to ask for the 3 or 4 digit security details on the front or back of the card! 😀

  • Johyu5 says:

    Not to be pedantic, but what’s wrong with using “2” instead of “Two” in the middle of a sentence? Thought the rule was that you cannot begin a sentence with a digit in numerical form, but everywhere else is acceptable?

    • Rob says:

      Numbers under 10 should always be written in full.

    • Andrew. says:

      There’s 2 thoughts on the matter.

      Some say you should never use numbers for single digit values. Others say numbers are fine, unless they start a sentence, but never use “1” always one.

      Both my English and Secs teachers taught me the latter method in Scotland in the 80s. My English colleague of the same era was taught the former, and is always whiny about it. But as I tell her, she’s very welcome to take minutes if she ‘d prefer it her way.

      • Mike Hunt says:

        Yes there are ” 2 (sic) thoughts on the matter.” – One thought that all numbers under ten should be written in full and a second thought, which is wrong, that they shouldn’t.

      • Nigel Keya says:

        Could I possibly ask what your Secs teacher ended up teaching you? 🙂

  • AndyGWP says:

    Do you have more details on the iPhone for £2 postage please? Really interested in it

  • John says:

    Should have been obvious it was a scam when the IT actually worked for at least Three clicks!

  • Kevin says:

    The gold colour with red text is a very similar colour to the BA landing screen after login for Gold BAEC members. Font might be the same as well. Could catch people out easily enough.

    There is actually an internal BA staff pdf document available online somewhere from 10-15 years ago which discusses the exact fonts, colours, logo positioning and presentation of exactly how official BA documents, letters, web pages etc. should be presented. If anyone is ever bored. Very very bored…..

    • QwertyKnowsBest says:

      Not just BA, I recall that Cellnet (remember them in the days before o2) had a whole manual on such, after yet another brand redesign.

      • Nigel Keya says:

        It was 1988 & I got shown the HSBC logo rulebook that had just been issued – way before HSBC took over Midland in UK. The guys also showed me this nifty device that scanned typewritten text (ie A4 sheets of paper) and converted it to computer text, ie the equivalent of importing it to Word. Is that a thing these days, 34 years later? They had basic internet connectivity within the bank as well, at that time just market information with messaging as an afterthought.

        • Mike Hunt says:

          Gosh 1988 seems like only yesterday but in reality it is years ago

          • Nigel Keya says:

            Indeed, @Mike hunt – where has all the time gone?

            I don’t think any of us should dwell on various inevitabilities – far better to enjoy life, our families, in my case also books, exercise & the outdoors but for others it might instead be films, good food & wine, a fast car etc.

            Currently into Julian Barnes.

          • Nigel Keya says:

            Another year went by just now – I really enjoyed it – lovely summer & garden, flowers etc.

  • lumma says:

    The best one of these I saw was to win “First Class” tickets on easyJet to anywhere in the world.

    First photo was an easyJet A319, the rest were Emirates First Class

  • S says:

    Hey, I also got it in my society what’s app group and I did click on the link, answered the questions and clicked on the boxes and got the mssg that I have won air tickets but I did not forward it to any group or any one. I have deleted that day history from chrome. Will my account be safe? I have an android phone.

    • Rob says:

      Should be, if you didn’t download anything, although Android phones are less secure than iPhones. What they really wanted was your email and payment card details.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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