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Jetstar Australia are the latest big brand to have a bit of fun poked at them by disgruntled consumers.  A fake Facebook page was set up offering free flights and thousands of dollars worth of prizes.  Despite the obvious signs of a scam, nearly 14,000 fans liked the page in 24 hours.

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There was no content other than the competition, which promised 200 free flights on the page and any click throughs were not directed to Jetstar.  The real Jetstar Facebook page has around 330 000 fans and numerous posts about a wide range of products and promotions.

The airline company remained philosophical about the hoax saying that no major Australian airline has been immune from these scams and they expected more in the future, adding, “We have heard reports of some customers liking or sharing fake Jetstar Australia Facebook posts but no reports of accounts being compromised.”

Scammer watchdog www.hoax-slayer.com explain the intention behind these sorts of sites, “The intention of these scammer like-farmers is to increase the value of the bogus Facebook pages they create so that they can be sold on the black market to other scammers and/or used to market dubious products and services and distribute further scams. The more likes a page has, the more resale and marketing value it commands.”

Because big names often give away alluring prizes in competitions, these scams can seem believable at first.  However a little common sense and some swift calculations can ensure you don’t get duped.  The five star accommodation, spending money and volume of flights offered would probably set the Australian airline back a good quarter of a million dollars.  That seems like a hefty advertising budget for just one campaign.  There were other tell tale signs on the page too.  The replies to complaints, whilst amusing, were clearly not within any social media policy.

 Scam Watch has some good advice for spotting scams. Did you fall for it?

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