Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

A ‘free flight ticket’ scam is targeting gullible residents in the UAE these days. Scammers are making social media posts that look like a message from UAE premier airlines Emirates, and asks people to participate in a survey to win two free tickets.

Here’s what the fake message states – “You have been selected to take part in our short survey to get two free Emirates tickets.” Once a user clicks on the survey link the person has to answer a series of questions that starts with “Have you travelled by Emirates?”

Emirates airline has requested residents to never respond to this fake survey, and abstain from sharing it with friends. According to the airline’s spokesperson, investigation of this scam is now underway, and appropriate action will be taken against the perpetrators.

You might be aware that messages like these are the favourite tool of scammers who want to steal your details through phishing. If you click on such links, criminals can not only access your device, but also steal your personal data such as bank account number, credit card details, and passwords.

It’s noteworthy that the same airline issued a statement last year, alerting people about phishing attempts made through a similar survey.

How to stay safe from phishing

  1. Never share your bank account data such as the expiry date of your debit/credit cards, online banking user ID and password with an unverified source
  2. Never share credit/debit card details such as the CVV over phone or email. The CVV, or card verification value, is a confidential 3-digit number at the back of the card and is used to complete online transactions
  3. Be aware that banks do not seek confidential data over the phone or emails
  4. If anyone asks for personal or confidential information, refuse to reveal details and contact your bank immediately
  5. Key the pin in yourself. Don’t share your debit/credit card pin with salespeople at petrol pumps, shops, or hotels for the sake of convenience