IN SHORT: Many South Africans would welcome an opportunity to fly for free for six months on low-cost airline FlySafair. But be warned, the airline is not running such a promotion. This is the work of scammers on Facebook.
The Facebook page FlуSafair: Click Now is offering its over 1,700 followers free flights for six months.
One of its posts, dated 9 January 2024, reads: “Special Offer from FlуSafаir! Get a chance to fly free for 6 months! Click 'Apply Now' to try and win your free flights pass.”
The post features a link where users can supposedly apply for the alleged pass.
But is the airline offering free flights for six months via this Facebook page and link? We checked.
Africa Check clicked on the link provided – not recommended – and was told: “Congratulations! Our airline FlySafair is running a promotion and raffling off a 6-month ticket at a very attractive price R 38!”
We were required to answer a few questions to “confirm that you are a real person”. These included whether we had “ever bought a plane ticket” and would “recommend our company to your friends”.
From there we had to pick the “right gift package” from six boxes on screen. We found it on our second attempt and a message popped up, saying: “Congratulations! You have FlySafair Airways Unlimited Flying Certificate for 6 months.”
The next step was to fill in our personal details so that we could proceed to the final page – the payment.
The payment page asked users for R37, but the first page mentioned R38. Users were also led to believe that they could “fly free” by winning a “free flights pass”. Such discrepancies point to a site that cannot be trusted, and may even be designed to make money off the unsuspecting public.
It also struck us as strange that we were never directed to the official FlySafair website.
We were then asked for our card number, its expiry date, card holder’s name and the three digits on the back of the card, or CVV. This is sensitive information that users should never give out.
All signs pointed to a scam.
FlySafair says it’s a scam
According to its page transparency section, the Facebook page in question was created in 2018 and named “Magenta store”. It changed its name in December 2023 and started posting FlySafair promotions, another sign that it is not genuine.
“We've been made aware of fraudulent posts on social media, claiming to offer sales and job opportunities under our name. These are not affiliated with FlySafair,” the company said.
The company’s post included an image of “promotions” using FlySafair’s name, stamped “FAKE”. One of the promotions offered free flights for six months, though from a different account. This means that there were other Facebook pages or accounts promoting the same scam in the name of FlySafair.
Read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them here.
Republish our content for free
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.