Passengers issued 'permanent suspension' warning and 'every' airline is affected

Airport passengers have been warned about a costly holiday flights scam – and every airline is affected. Holidaymakers visiting airports up and down the country have been told to exercise caution and stay vigilant over personal data being stolen.

Consumer body Which? found that airline customers were being targeted by fake social media accounts on X (formerly Twitter). Fake accounts are posing as UK airlines on X in a bid to harvest customer data, the consumer expert warns.

The airlines and travel operators affected include British Airways and Jet2 as well as TUI, Ryanair, Easyjet, Wizz Air and Virgin Atlantic. Scammers are trying to contact customers who’ve reached out to an airline about a problem.

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Scam accounts use “near-identical language” and will apologise for any inconvenience caused. They also use the same profile picture as legitimate accounts, meaning holidaymakers and tourists could fall victim and be easily duped.

A spokesperson for X 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.”

Which? gave the example of a researcher who contacted the genuine Wizz Air X account, @wizzair, asking if a flight was delayed, 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],” it said.

An easyJet spokesperson said: “We advise customers to only follow and engage with our sole official channel @easyJet, which is identifiable by the gold verification badge for official businesses, for the latest updates or to seek support and to be vigilant and to not engage with or click on any links from other accounts.”

A Wizz Air spokesperson said: “We continue to report fake social media accounts and would like to remind customers to never give their personal details out on these channels. Passengers should contact customer service via our claims or call centres.”

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/718761428/wBnCcwvY3utjR33g?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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