Stupid Tip of the Day: Ignore Solicitations Via Private Message
T he subject of the private message was Enjoy a Premium FlyerTalk today! — and the content of the private message was as follows:
Hi! You have been chosen to get PREMIUM status at FlyerTalk.com forever absolutely free !
To claim your PREMIUM status please visit THIS PAGE.
The words THIS PAGE contained an active link on which you could click.
FlyerTalk member CloudGazer suspected that this was an obvious scam perpetrated by some new — and now former — member of FlyerTalk; and did the right thing by reporting it. Teamwork quickly abolished any potential threat as a result.
Ignore Solicitations Via Private Message
The private message in question was sent to other FlyerTalk members in addition to CloudGazer.
In the more than nine years since Internet Brands has owned FlyerTalk, no member of its team has communicated general announcements via the private message function of FlyerTalk, as information is usually communicated via global announcements, official newsletters to people who voluntarily subscribe to e-mail messages from FlyerTalk, or discussions in particular forums — primarily, the Technical Support and Feedback forum — never mind the fact that FlyerTalk has offered a premium status only once in its history of greater than 18 years; and that was greater than 11 years ago.
Also, members of the administrative team of Internet Brands are easily identified with a red name in bold — as well as an official title underneath the FlyerTalk name.
This private message scam was easy to spot and quickly reported — but it will not be the last time it happens; and the next perpetrator may not be so obvious about his or her intent.
The clues for spotting a potential scam are somewhat similar to those given in this article pertaining to how to tell if an e-mail message is considered “spam” — but the main lesson is to never click on a link embedded in content sent by someone who you do not completely trust; or of which you are not certain is completely safe.
FlyerTalk is not the only Internet community bulletin board or social media site at which this can happen; so be careful about what private messages you receive whenever you are a member of any Internet community…
…and if you do suspect any private communication which you receive, contact a moderator, administrator or other official personnel as soon as possible.