Which? says every major UK airline is being impersonated by scammers on X

By Lisa James
10/06/2024
Home » Which? says every major UK airline is being impersonated by scammers on X

Which? is warning holidaymakers about a rise in scams where fake accounts on the social media platform X are created to impersonate airlines.

The consumer champion said bogus accounts exist for every major UK airline on X, previously known as Twitter, and customers are regularly tricked into giving away personal data.

The scams often happen when customers use X to try to contact an airline over a problem, Which? said. Scammers then respond to the query or complaint and customers don’t notice they’ve been contacted by a fake account.

A Which? researcher contacted the genuine Wizz Air X account, @wizzair, and almost immediately received responses from two fake accounts.

“Both used near-identical language, apologising for the inconvenience, stating that they had ‘already escalated this matter to the relevant department’ and requesting a ‘reachable WhatsApp number for assistance’ via DM [direct message],” Which? said.

Which? said it had found bogus X accounts impersonating every major airline operating in the UK and said reporting fake accounts to X has a ‘limited effect’.

EasyJet told Which? it continues to report fake accounts to X; Jet2 said it is aware of unverified accounts and has a ‘proactive programme of communications to remind customers to be aware, and to report any suspicious activity’.

Wizz Air confirmed it has seen a rise in fake accounts on X, and TUI said: “We regularly monitor for any accounts impersonating Tui on social media and report accordingly for the online safety of our customers. Customers should ensure that they are only interacting with @tuiuk, which is marked with a blue tick next to it.”

British Airways, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic didn’t respond to requests from Which? for comments.

An X spokesperson told the BBC: “On X, you may not misappropriate the identity of individuals, groups, or organisations or use a fake identity to deceive others.

“Accounts that pose as another person, group, or organisation in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under X’s misleading and deceptive identities policy.”

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