Photo: M-Production/Shutterstock

Scammers Are Targeting People Who Complain About Air Travel Issues on X

Travel Safety Airports + Flying
by Morgane Croissant Mar 22, 2024

Air travelers who want to have their issues with airlines resolved properly would do well to bypass social media and pick up the phone to call customer support instead — no matter how lengthy and irritating the process might be.

Ask Jo-Anne Galarneau whose delayed flight to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, could have cost her a lot more than a few lost hours if she had not been social media savvy.

According to an interview she gave to CBC, after venting her frustration about Air Canada’s delay on X and tagging the airline in her tweet, Galarneau was quickly approached by a slew of accounts all claiming to be representatives of the airline willing to help. Upon checking the accounts of those who contacted her, she noticed that while they did have the Air Canada logo as their profile photo, they did not have any followers. Galarneau understood that she was being targeted by scammers, so she ignored the messages and contacted the airline via its official website instead.

A few days later, however, the fake Air Canada customer support employees reached out again to Galarneau, saying they could help with her flight issues. Galarneau, aware of the ploy but keen to see how far the impersonators would go, went along with the bogus procedure.

The scammers asked for her booking reference number, which she provided, and then requested that she download Remitly, an app used for international money transfers, for her to receive a refund, but only in Kenyan dollars. When they asked for her bank account number, Galarneau put a stop to all communications and reached out to the airline and the proper authorities with screenshots to denounce the scam.

While airlines do have customer service representatives working on the official social media platforms, air travelers need to keep their wits about them and, like Galarneau, look into the accounts of those reaching out to them. If the accounts are not verified (on X that translates as a gold check mark symbol beside the account’s name) and have only a few followers, you should be very suspicious. Also, airline customer representatives will not ask you to share any financial information, or make and financial transaction via social media.

To be on the safe side, when in need, place a call to the airline’s customer support service, or contact the airline via its official website. If scammers have approached you, keep a record or the interactions, contact the airline, and report the situation online on the US government’s scams and fraud webpage or call 1-844-USAGOV1.

Discover Matador