Beware: Fake airline Instagram accounts promise free flights

Instagram accounts for American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and JetBlue are promising free flights to people who follow and share them. The only problem is they aren't real.

Delta's fake Instagram account. Screenshot taken by Roger Cheng/CNET

Fake Instagram accounts for American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and JetBlue have been set up with the promise of free flights.

The accounts, @americanairlines_giveaways, @united_giveaways, @jetbluegiveaways, and @delta_giveaways, all work very similarly. They promise a free airline ticket or round-trip ticket to the first several thousand followers, which vary depending on the account.

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.

It's unclear why these accounts were set up and what the people behind them ultimately hoped to achieve. The promise of free flights could lead to headaches for the airlines as duped followers attempt to collect on their reward.

JetBlue has already taken to Twitter to disavow the Instagram account.

CNET has contacted Instagram for comment, and we'll update the story when the company responds.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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