HONOLULU, HI (KHON) — You may have seen it on social media: An online promotion offers two free Hawaiian Airlines tickets if you fill out a brief survey with some personal information. It sounds like a great deal and looks real, but is it too good to be true?
Hawaiian Airlines tells us it is not behind the promotion, nor is it currently giving away any tickets.
The Better Business Bureau of Hawaii says these types of promotions can be advanced phishing scams that can cause major headaches down the line.
Scammers create websites with URLs that are similar to real companies, and even use the same logos. They ask for personal information, like your address and phone number.
“Because it looks like it’s from your friend, they’ll be encouraged enough to click on it,” said Lisa Nakao, Better Business Bureau Hawaii.
The sites can then take your information and sell it to a third party, spam you through texts and emails, and/or attempt to access other accounts.
“The lure is that free ticket, but then you’re going to be prompted to sign up for something that’s going to be really difficult to get out of,” warned Nakao. “They could be phishing for that last piece of information to do a log-in or create an account. You have to be cautious about potential identity theft down the line.”
Hawaiian Airlines says you can verify its promotions by checking HawaiianAirlines.com or its social media channels, and be sure you’re looking at the official site and not a URL that includes the name in it.
“If it is the actual promotion of the company, you will likely see it hosted at the official website,” Nakao said.
The airline says it’s working to report the issue and hopes to have the promotion removed.
The Better Business Bureau says if you’re unsure of a promotion, go straight to the source to verify its authenticity and always read the fine print.