Published on Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Users of the online messaging service Whatsapp are being targeted by scammers pretending to offer them the chance to win two free flights on Emirates.
Prevention of Fraud in Travel (PROFIT) said users are invited to fill out a 'fast survey' in order to win the tickets on the Dubai-based carrier.
The link in the Whatsapp message appears to direct people to the Emirates' website, but in fact it diverts them to a hoax site where they are asked a few questions in a phoney survey, which they are then told they must share with 10 other Whatsapp users to claim their prize.
Afterwards, the user is directed to another webpage where they must confirm their details, but in doing so they are unwittingly signed up to a premium message number, the cost of which will be charged to their phone bill.
At the end, they are directed to another page where it says: "Thank you for attending the survey. You did not win, try again better luck."
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.