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Attention, Travelers! Fake Airline Accounts on X Are on the Prowl, Luring You with Malicious Links

Scammers are using bots to crawl through the social media platform and reach out to travelers
Photo illustration the logo of 'X' | Getty Images | Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Photo illustration the logo of 'X' | Getty Images | Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

British consumer association Which? has warned travelers regarding fake airline accounts on X (formerly Twitter) duping customers. Which? also criticized the social media network for being slow to react to the threat. The consumer association observed that nearly all major airlines in the UK are impacted by fake accounts that are tricking users into clicking malicious links to steal their personal and sensitive financial information.

A United Airlines Customer Service Center at Denver International Airport | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Alexander
A United Airlines Customer Service Center at Denver International Airport | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Alexander

The scam happens when a frustrated customer takes their complaint to the social media platform in an attempt to reach the airline’s customer support. Scammers use bots (automated software) to crawl through social media and find such comments by travelers. Then using fake bot accounts of the related airlines, the scammers often respond to the post before the official handles do.

They hope that the customer will not notice they are being contacted by a fake account. The Which? report shared an example given by the consumer association. A customer tagged Wizz Air X account, @wizzair, asking if their flight was delayed. The customer almost immediately received responses from two fake accounts of Wizz Air.


Which? stated that both accounts used near-identical language and apologized for the inconvenience. They also said that the matter had ‘already been escalated to the relevant department’ and requested a “reachable WhatsApp number for assistance” via direct message.

The report further added that upon reaching out, scammers often ask customers to send them sensitive personal data or direct them to malicious phishing websites of the airlines where their credit card details and other information are stolen.

Some fraudsters even claim that they are entitled to compensation or ask for a small fee to resolve their issue.

Which? found bogus X accounts impersonating nearly every major airline in the UK including British Airways, Jet2, easyJet, Ryanair, Tui, Virgin Atlantic, and Wizz Air.

The consumer association also stated that reporting the fake accounts to X seemed to have limited effect as most of the fake accounts and their posts remained live and active even after being flagged.

While X has a policy of suspending accounts that pose as another person, group, or organisation in a deceptive manner, Which? says the platform seems to be slow to act against them.

Meanwhile, airlines have urged customers to be wary of fake accounts and not share personal data on social media.


As per an Aura report, in the best-case scenarios, such airline scams may lead to small financial losses or rebooking headaches for travelers. However, in the worst-case scenario, these scams can cause major financial damage, and identity theft which can further facilitate fraudsters to open fake bank accounts, take out loans in the name of the traveler, or empty the bank account completely.

Thus, the report recommended travelers use only the airline’s customer support through the official channels or phone number. Furthermore, travelers should not trust the first number that comes up on a Google search and only reach out through the numbers given on the official website.


Travelers should also refrain from sharing their personal information with any customer support agent who actively reaches out to them via DM or on social media.