Although the focus of this story is on a Thomas Cook fake page, this type of thing happens to lots of big company’s. In this instance we were made aware of a fake Thomas Cook Facebook page that was offering a chance to win free holidays etc. The catch was you had to enter personal details to enter the competition, which might not seem to bad as you would expect that if you were entering a genuine competition. But this just links you to an affiliate site that is unrelated to Thomas Cook.
When you do a search on Facebook you do get shown the official Facebook page(s) for Thomas Cook, however alongside the main page at the top there is hundreds listed for individual shops, which can get confusing. Note that all the “Official” ones have the blue tick next to them.
The crooks have got wise to the fact that there pages wont show up in the top list and now try another method, they get people to share fake posts, like the one below, with the offer of a free holiday etc.
So, why share the posts you may ask, the reason is simple, in order to win your holiday you need to click a link, take a look at the example below, as you can see there is one URL that is made to look like its something to do with Thomas Cook, but it isn’t.
Please do not click on any such links, they may contain malware etc, any links we have checked for this post we have tested with professional anti virus / malware checkers.
When we go to that site, we are first asked if we are over 16, then on the next page we are asked where we are from we have “UK” or “USA” or “Other” as the options. We selected UK and we are then redirected to an affiliate type page where you are asked to enter personal details. This site is operated by Green Flamingo Limited. We believe that whoever setup the fake Thomas Cook page is probably using this site to earn referral fees.
The fake Facebook page is doing quite well with over 25000 people who follow this.
Remember genuine Facebook pages for any large company / well known celebrity etc has a blue tick next to it, as per our example below taken from the real and fake Facebook page for Thomas Cook
So, now lets look at the domain name they are using to redirect you via (holiday-giveaway.com) this domain was only registered on 28th January 2019, so is quite new, just like the fake Facebook page. From the root of this domain it says again about a free holiday and redirects you again to another affiliate site that has a holiday competition.
We have contacted Thomas Cook to make them aware of this fake Facebook page. They responded to me within a matter of minutes and said they were aware of this fake Facebook page and it has been reported to Facebook already.
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.