(REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
A fake Delta Air Lines Facebook page went viral on Tuesday after promising $5,000 and five first-class tickets to 175 passengers.
The only problem was that the page was a hoax, first spotted by BuzzFeed’s news reporter, Mariah Summers.
The promotion included a picture of airplane-themed gift bags that were stolen from a Flickr user’s album, and it claimed it was in celebration of the airline’s 100 million customers.
Here’s the full text from the Facebook post:
Celebrating a 100 million [sic] customers already this year we’re giving you the chance to win one of 175 gift bags. Each one contains $5,000 in cash, 5 first class tickets to be used till 2015 and some delta goodies.
To wine Share & Like photo (comment to double chances)
Ends 2nd July, winners will be messaged. Good luck.
“We are aware of this item, and it is not an official Delta site,” a Delta spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday. “We have reached out to Facebook to remove it ASAP.”
At the time of this post, the page and its fake promotion have been removed from Facebook. BuzzFeed was able to grab the screenshots before the page was deleted.
Here’s one, and you can click here to see the rest.
Before it was taken down, BuzzFeed reported that the Facebook post had been shared over 64,000 times and had 26,000 comments and nearly 37,000 likes.
This is not the first time that fake Instagram accounts have been created for airlines that promise free flights. Since 2012, fake Instagram accounts of Delta, JetBlue, American Airlines, and others have popped up to try and rack up followers.
Though the ultimate intent behind these fake Instagram accounts is not clear, you can still search airline brands and find dozens of hoax accounts promising a "surprise" or "special offer" if they reach a follower benchmark.
As the recent Delta Air Lines hoax proves, these Instagram parodies can be a major headache for brands. Jet Blue even had to announce to customers back in 2012 that any Instagram accounts or promotions customers saw were fakes.
The company has since joined Instagram where they have their own official giveaways.
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