When it comes to scams, unfortunately airlines are often good fodder for the scammers. As they are in the business of transporting thousands of people a day, it’s easy for the crooks to find a victim who recently took a flight. For the past few weeks, it has been Virgins turn, and a few of our members have been getting a phone call.

I just received one of these calls and checked with Virgin: Virgin are warning people about automated calls from scammers posing as Virgin staff claiming that they’ve won a credit towards their next holiday….The scammer may ask whether the person is aged over 30, whether they have a valid credit card, and finally ask for their credit card details so that the prize can be processed. If you hand over your credit card details, you will find that money has been taken rather than deposited from your bank account.

While many of us would like to believe we would not fall victim to such a ruse, when the call actually comes it might be a different story. Thanks for the various ways companies now do competitions; it is possible you might get a call saying you won. What most companies will not do is then ask for your credit card, or for further personal details in the same conversation.

Had a call from them as well, before the warnings came out. Knew it was a scam when they asked me for my details and I replied that since you called me you should already know, and was abruptly hung up on.

Despite the warning signs, clearly some are still convinced it’s genuine. After taking the time to verify the call with a partner, they were soon set straight as to the purpose of the call.

My wife came in this morning happily announcing “virgins on the phone, they say we’ve won a credit!” (Was a late night at the office)”Gurgle, groan, oh…. Hang up” <click> “Oh…. It’s a scam is it?” “Yes” My wife is normally pretty cluey about these things. It must be fairly convincing

If you do get a call, keep in mind genuine competitions will not have an issue with the winner making a call back to verify details. If you are being asked to supply details on the spot, that is often a sign that things are not as they seem. In this case, taking the time to check the Virgin website or give their contact centre a call would reveal the true nature of the scam.

Of course Virgin is not alone in being a target. Qantas were targeted by the same scam in April this year. And both had had phishing email scams in the past, under the cover of being a notification of a change to your booking. With scams coming in all shapes and sizes these days, it’s worth noting the government has a website you can check. Chances are, you are not the first person they have tried to call or email.

Have you had a call that turned out to be a scam, and how did you handle it, share your experience with our members HERE.


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