December 8, 2023

Luggage scam using Auckland Airport offers 1000 unclaimed bags for $3

Congestion at Auckland International Airport. Photo / James Ryan

A Facebook user fears a scam Auckland Airport promotion is a way of harvesting credit card details.

Scammers are offering 1000 unopened bags for $3 each, with free delivery.

An Auckland Airport spokeswoman said it hadreported the scam to Meta, and it had been taken down – but it appears to have resurfaced.

“We recognise scammers are persistent and pages often reappear shortly after being reported,” she said.

The Facebook post has a photo of a huge collection of lost bags and a sign purporting to be from Auckland Airport photoshopped onto it. Thousands of bags were “mishandled” or arrived at a different time to passengers last summer as a result of logjams in the international aviation system. Weather played havoc with schedules and a shortage of ground handlers and space at the airport contributed.

The airport advises social media users to look for the blue verification tick after its username to know that they are dealing with Auckland Airport and not a scammer.

“Scammers are good at creating fake social media accounts, websites and emails that are often hard to tell from the real thing – by checking for the blue verification tick you know you are dealing with Auckland Airport’s official social media accounts.”

The spokeswoman advises not to accept friend requests or buy from social media pages pretending to be the airport.

The Facebook user said the scam says that proceeds from the luggage sale will go to charity. It also leads page users to the wrong URL address for Auckland Airport.

The spokeswoman said that anyone who thinks they’ve been scammed should go to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Scamwatch site to find out what to do next.

Advice includes:

Stop all contact with the scammer

Once you realise you are being scammed, do not continue the conversation. Hang up the phone. Don’t reply to emails or letters scammers send. If you have been scammed online, block the scammer from contacting you.

Do not make any more payments

Some scammers target people caught in recent scams, such as pretending to be an enforcement agency that can return all your money for a fee. Don’t give money to anyone on the promise they will get your lost money back.

Contact the bank or service you sent money through

If you are the victim of a financial scam, credit card scam or identity theft, contact your bank immediately. The sooner your bank knows about it the greater the likelihood of getting the money back.

Grant Bradley has been working at the Herald since 1993. He is the Business Herald’s deputy editor and covers aviation and tourism.

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