File picture: Matthew Jordaan

Pretoria - Mango Airlines was the second airline in two days to be hit by hoax accounts on social networking site Instagram.

On Tuesday, an account on the picture sharing social network claimed that it was run by Virgin Atlantic and offered the first 1 500 followers two free airline tickets to any destination in the world. Virgin Atlantic, which has an Instagram account, was quick to warn clients about the fake account.

On Wednesday, a similar hoax hit local airline Mango, with an account @FLYMANGOSOUTHAFRICA promising the first 12 500 customers free flights, locally or to Europe or Africa, if they followed it on Instagram. By Wednesday, the hoax account had more than 10 000 followers.

Mango spokesman Hein Kaiser said they were trying to shut down the account as it was not the company’s official page.

“Mango advises that consumers should not engage, interact or follow the fraudulent Instagram presence nor provide any personal information vis-à-vis the disingenuous offer to any party outside the airline’s official communication channels,” Kaiser said. He said being a big brand increased Mango’s potential risk in having its name used for phishing and other internet scams.

He said the airline had received questions about the fake offer from customers, but no one had reported being fleeced of any money.

Kaiser said the company interacted with customers on its website, mobisite, apps for Android, Apple and Blackberry 10 devices, Facebook and Twitter.

The official Mango airline Twitter page was busy warning its followers about the Instagram account on Wednesday.

Kaiser said they were trying to shut down the Instagram account.

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Pretoria News