Over the weekend, I noticed many of my Facebook friends sharing this post.

southwest-fraud

Of course, my fraud detector immediately went off. There are so many red flags here. Contests don’t work like that. I’ve never heard of one that gives you a destination anywhere that’s completely customizable.  So I decided to check out the alleged Facebook page for Southwest Air. Note that it’s a Community and not a verified page for the company.

southwest-fraud-community

You’ll also note that there are only a couple of posts on this page and they all took place in 2016. It’s pretty unlikely that Southwest Airlines has only ever made two Facebook posts.

southwest-sign-up-timeline

You’ll have an offer to click the sign up button at the top.

southwest-sign-up-button

When you do, it takes you to a pop-up that wants you to message 5 friends and then be sent away to collect your free tickets.

southwest-sign-tickets-collect

What you’re really doing is setting up your friends to be on the receiving end of some potentially dangerous spam.

At some point, I guarantee you these scammers are going to want some personal information from the alleged “winners.”  They will also very likely direct you to some Malware-laden site that could seriously damage your computer or phone.

So by sharing this, you aren’t only perpetuating a lie, you’re actually putting the folks you share it with at risk.

By the way, the actual Southwest Airlines Facebook page has a post about this. This scam has been going around in one form or another for more than 5 years.

Let’s compare the actual Southwest Airlines Facebook page with the fake one. It has the little blue checkmark to indicate that it is verified by Facebook.

actual-soutwest-air

This legitimate page has nearly 5 million likes as opposed to only 16,000 for the fake page.

actual-soutwest-air-likes

And there are years worth of posts.

actual-soutwest-air-posts

Once again, don’t share things like this unless you are willing to take the time to verify that they are legitimate. You’re exposing yourself and your friends to scammers and possible malware. Got it? Good.

~ Cynthia