By John Ensor •
Published: 31 Aug 2023 • 19:27
The recent failure of UK air traffic control has caused misery for thousands of travellers, and to add to an already stressful situation, scammers are now exploiting the situation
Amid the UK air traffic control debacle that led to the cancellation of approximately 1,500 flights on the August bank holiday, holidaymakers stranded abroad are now being targeted by con artists impersonating EasyJet on social media platforms.
Fake social media accounts resembling EasyJet are reaching out to distressed customers who have publicly sought assistance from the airline on platforms like Twitter. These impostors aim to deceive individuals into sharing their contact details as part of a phishing scheme.
Multiple sham accounts have responded to posts from EasyJet customers. The Independent identified over 60 public posts from a single fraudulent account in just two days.
‘It is abhorrent people are taking advantage of vulnerable people already under high stress,’ said one couple, who are expecting a child and were stranded in Rhodes. They were unable to find any available EasyJet flights to Gatwick until the following Thursday.
The couple has since booked flights with another carrier, set to leave this Thursday. They have spent well over £1,500 on new flights and emergency accommodation, and are still awaiting confirmation of reimbursement.
After tweeting a complaint to EasyJet, the couple were contacted by three separate fake accounts. She then received a call from a Tanzanian number pretending to be a customer service representative, who asked for their receipts via WhatsApp. The couple wisely declined.
The couple expressed that given the disarray and insufficient assistance from EasyJet, it’s not surprising that individuals might fall prey to scams. They feel that people are desperate for reliable information, which EasyJet has failed to provide adequately.
Additionally, they pointed out that it’s astonishing EasyJet hasn’t communicated with its customers to warn them about only interacting with the company’s official channels. They see this as another example of EasyJet’s failure to safeguard its passengers.
Various EasyJet customers have taken to social media to alert the airline about the scam. One individual informed the airline that a lookalike account had ‘just tried to scam me out of £330 using your details.’ Another lamented the airline’s lack of communication, leaving stranded passengers vulnerable to fraud.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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