Scam! Yes, it has happened to me! I am not pleased to admit it, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t happen. As I’m constantly on the socials, I enter myself into several giveaways. So, when I entered for this giveaway scam to the Canary Islands with flights, accommodations and spending money included I couldn’t say no. I mean who would?
I mean it looks pretty legit right?
The giveaway was supposed to be with CrystalTravel.uk – or at least I thought it was. The account had over 10.8k followers so I couldn’t believe I thought it was legit. I didn’t realise people still bought followers!
All I had to do was tag my travel buddy, which to me was super easy. I, of course, tagged my babe and within a few days, I was sent a DM that I had won a prize to Tenerife for 10 days with £500 spending money! I mean I was over the moon I hardly ever win anything!
I was fully gassed!
Your girl was already and planning her hairstyle and outfits she was going to take on this getaway. I quickly sent a message to my partner to let him know about the good news!
CrystalTravel was asking me for some personal information. They asked me to send a picture of my passport and a picture of myself titled Crystal Travel. I was so excited to go I didn’t even consider that this might be a scam! Why would it be?
I sent a copy of my passport despite ALL my work colleagues telling me to calm down and not too! In my head, I thought these guys don’t want me to be great! Of course, I am going to send what they have requested! It didn’t take long before I came back to earth. It was getting weird where they were sending me some bizarre responses, so I started asking questions.
I went over to their official website, which they added to the bio of the fake account and messaged their online chat service. They quickly informed me that it was a scam! WTF! A SCAM!! I couldn’t believe that I HAD JUST SENT OVER MY DETAILS AND THIS WAS ALL A SCAM!
This was heart-breaking. All those outfits I was planning had gone out the window in literally seconds.
Short-lived, but I learnt a few things that I think you should know about them too. Below are three things to ask yourself before passing any details.
1. Don’t send any details to scammers
To be honest with you it was extremely stupid of me to send over my passport details to these fraudsters. I already knew that they didn’t need me to send passport picture to book a flight, but I think my excitement got the better of me and I just went with it.
Don’t get like me and get so excited that you forget that there are scammers out there. And just because you would never do something like this to anyone doesn’t mean these people don’t exist.
2. If you do send info contact the police and report the fraud
You will need to contact the police and report that you have been scammed. You can report fraud in the UK via this link.
This protects you if anything goes wrong and your identity is used. You might also want to contact your banks etc. to let them know to watch out for any weird activity.
3. Be careful of urgent deadlines
When I was sent the message that I had won the giveaway they demanded I sent everything quickly. Nothing needs to be done immediately. So, if you’re being asked to hit a deadline, something dodgy is probably going on.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
In my case, I noticed that when I began to ask questions, i.e. go on the official website and ask about the giveaway I learnt it was a fraud. Once they got what they needed, I then noticed the Instagram account blocked me. Ask questions from the very beginning that way you can avoid scammers.
Either way, there are scammers everywhere and sometimes they can get even the best of people. Cough cough, me.
What about yourself have you ever experienced something similar? Let me know in the comments below *no judgements*