Emirates scam shows SMEs need to watch social media

Those SMEs who have decided social media is too much hassle or haven’t got around to setting up a social media presence need to take note of the latest social media scam.

Thousands of users of photo-sharing website Instagram were taken in yesterday by a fake competition to win a free flight to Dubai.

The competition claimed to be from the airline Emirates and offered the first 20,000 followers to the new Instagram account free flights for two.

The account was growing in numbers but unfortunately the promotion was too good to be true and Emirates has now confirmed the account is a fake.

“Emirates Airline does not have an official Instagram account. Any Emirates-related accounts or promotions on Instagram do not belong to us”, a spokesperson for the airline told The Vine.

While Emirates is on board with social media, it only uses Facebook, Google + and YouTube.

Failing to establish a profile on Instagram and Twitter or to monitor the platforms meant the scam was able to occur.

It left Emirates looking silly and undoubtedly resulted in those people who followed Emirates on a false premise feeling disgruntled.

The Emirates scam follows hot on the heels of an imposter setting up a Just Jeans Facebook account and leaving comments on the page pretending to represent Just Jeans.

It’s clear businesses need to closely monitor their social media presence and ensure they have established a name on the key social media platforms even if they don’t intend to use them.

If a company like Emirates with million dollar budgets can get it wrong, it serves as a warning for everyone.


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