Thousands fall for fake Emirates Instagram competition

A screen grab of the fake promotion on Instagram.
A screen grab of the fake promotion on Instagram. 

It seemed too good to be true, and it was. Thousands of users of photo sharing website Instagram have been taken in by a fake competition to win a free flight to Dubai.

The promotion, purporting to be from airline Emirates, promised that the first 20,000 followers to the new Instagram account would win a free flight for two to Dubai.

The account had already amassed more than 10,000 followers, and, at time of publication, was following back 3011 Instagram users.

Under the hashtag "#emiratespromotion" there were close to 40,000 screenshots of the dream-worthy prize promise.

But Emirates has since confirmed that the account is a fake, telling The Vine, "Emirates Airline does not have an official Instagram account. Any Emirates-related accounts or promotions on Instagram do not belong to us".

The airline posted on its Facebook page that it has only three official social media channels, on Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.

It is, perhaps, unsurprising to learn that the airline will not be flying 40,000 people to Dubai free of charge.

The hoax is the latest in a series of online scams to hit airlines, with Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar all recently becoming the target of fake emails sent by so-called 'phishing' scammers. The emails purported to be booking or seat-selection confirmation mails and contained attachments with malware that could contain viruses or other software harmful to users' computers.

with Genevieve Rosen, The Vine.

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