Fake Airline Instagram Accounts Promise Free Flights, Attract Huge Followings

Every social network has its share of spammers, but one type of fake account seems to be working particularly well on Instagram: airline accounts offering free flights. Roger Cheng of CNET writes,

The accounts have been pretty effective at garnering followers. Delta’s fake account already has 21,000 followers after it promised a free trip for the first 20,000 people who followed and shared the account. Likewise, the JetBlue account has 20,000 followers. The American Airlines profile has 5,963 followers after it promised a free round-trip flight to the first 5,000 followers. The accounts themselves are fairly bare aside from a few pictures and the offer itself. But there are no rules listed for the promotion, or means of contacting the airlines to collect on the free flight.

Airlines have begun disavowing the accounts, and Instagram has already removed a number of them (including a couple of the ones mentioned by Cheng). It seems like Instagram needs to launch a “verified user” system like the one Twitter implemented a few years ago.

Beware: Fake airline Instagram accounts promise free flights [CNET]

  • Vlad Dusil

    This is not surprising. People are generally gullible and a bit stupid.

    Remember the emails you used to get from friends and family in the 90s and the 2000s who believed that a glistening fairy would drop off a sack of golden nuggets on their doorstep if they fw’ed the email at least 50 times?

    On Facebook you see idiotic images going viral that promise $0.50 for every like and $1 for every share towards little Timmy’s leukemia treatment and thousands fall for it.

    Same concepts, different platforms. All the dickheads who come up with these new scam campaigns seriously need to be beaten with a crowbar.

  • K G

    PP, please focus more on photography and less on Instagram.

  • Brandon McWilliams

    Whether you like it or not, Instagram is a form of photography. It may be dominated by uninteresting, poorly executed images, but they’re photographs nonetheless. The service has also acted as a gateway to more sophisticated methods for a lot of young kids who’ve only ever known taking pictures with their iPhones.