WestJet warns of scammers creating fake accounts posing as airline

An Air Canada aircraft covered with snow and ice is moved by a tug as a WestJet aircraft is seen being moved behind it at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Scammers and fraudsters have wasted no time in finding a new way of stealing money, time and information amid national issues with air travel due to inclement weather.

WestJet is reporting that a number of fake social media accounts and even websites have been created impersonating the airline.

“We’ve received a number of reported cases related to fraudulent websites and social media accounts impersonating us,” WestJet staff said in a social media post.

“Please check that the WestJet account you’re interacting with is verified with a checkmark.”

There lies a problem, though, as blue checkmarks can now be purchased on Twitter with Elon Musk’s new Twitter Blue feature.

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Twitter Blue is an opt-in, paid monthly subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select new features, like editing a tweet, according to the social media platform.

WestJet is asking customers to contact its help centre for issues, however, many people have reached out to Global News, saying the airline’s help centre is anything but helpful.

Many have said they were on hold for hours, sometimes spanning over 12 hours on hold.

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Many WestJet customers who have had their flights cancelled, especially in Vancouver, have had issues getting hotel vouchers and rebooking for cancelled flights.

“While our cyber security team is diligently working to address this ongoing matter, we are advising all of our guests to remain vigilant against potential scams and fraud and asking that they double-check that the WestJet account they are interacting with,” WestJet said in an email.

Additional information on common frauds and scams targeting WestJet guests, including paid ads, phone scams, free flight giveaways and misdial scams can be found on WestJet’s advisory page under ‘scams’.

WestJet officials said no one was available for an interview Thursday.

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