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Ignore link on Facebook to ‘Emirates 37th anniversary government subsidy’ – hoax and engagement bait

A link posted in a public Facebook group with over 82,000 members claims “every citizen can enjoy government subsidies” from “Emirates” to celebrate its 37th anniversary. 

The link leads you to a page where you are required to answer a few questions and stand a chance to win “9,000 shilling” (about US$76), if you are based in Kenya. If you access the website from South Africa, it promises “4,000 rand” (about $245).

The page has photos of Emirates Airlines aircraft, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates. 

It’s already suspicious that the money promised on the webpage differs significantly based on your location. But is this link and its promise genuine? We checked.


Engagement bait scam

The questions you are led through in the questionnaire are “Do you know Emirates?”,“How old are you?”,  “How do you think of Emirates?” and “Are you male or female?”. 

Regardless of the answers you give, you are declared eligible to move on to the next step and this asks you to select the “correct” box on the screen.

But like in many other phishing scams, you’re then asked to share the promotion with five groups or 20 friends on WhatsApp, before proceeding further.

Instructions to share usually signal an engagement bait scam. The more the link is shared, the greater the traction it gets.

Emirates Airlines was founded in 1985 and in 2022 the company would be celebrating its 37th anniversary. But we found no such promotion or survey on the Emirates website, Facebook or Twitter pages. And the web page claiming to run the promotion is not an Emirates company site.

It’s a scam, possibly designed to gather personal information from unsuspecting people.

For more tips, read our guide on how to spot Facebook scams.

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