Over the past few days, chances are you’ve seen friends and family members sharing a Facebook competition from a page claiming to be P&O cruises that promises a luxurious holidays for winners.
The photograph features a man claiming to be Mark Graham who supposedly works at P&O Cruise Headquarters. He’s standing next to boxes that feature the iconic P&O logo, as well as a P&O banner in the background.
“Hello everyone, I’m Mark Graham. I’m at the P&O Cruise headquarters where we have twenty boxes ready to mail out,” the post promises. “Re-post and comment to get one.
“We’ve packed each one with 4 tickets for a 10 night cruise on a date of your choice, $5k to spend on-board and some other cruise goodies.”
As reported by ABC, P&O is not currently offering this giveaway and the man in the photograph is not the CEO of P&O Cruises Australia. There are a number of signs that point out the post is a scam.
The first is that the post is not being shared by the official P&O Cruises Australia Facebook page, but rather a fake page. As well as not having the Facebook verification tick, the page had only ever shared two posts – a sign that it isn’t a legitimate page.
The image was also Photoshopped, meaning the photograph wasn’t really taken from inside P&O cruises headquarters. A check of the official page will show you there is no such offer or promotion.
Unfortunately, the fake post had been shared more than 24,000 times and attracted thousands of comments.
According to ABC, the original fake post was deleted and replaced with yet another scam, before the page was taken down. Still, anyone who sent their contact details through as part of the competition could have their online safety compromised or receive spam.
Where possible, it’s always best to update and change passwords and to warn anyone who may have shared the post to be aware their information may have been compromised. Starts at 60 attempted to contact P&O outside of regular hours and was unable to get comment.
The latest scam comes months after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned Australians to beware of scammers trying to access their personal details, computer and bank accounts through new and dangerous methods. Many people being caught out by people impersonating well-known businesses and even the police to gain access to computers to steal money and banking information.
The ACCC’s Scamwatch website has seen a dramatic spike in what are known as remote access scams. So far this year more than 8,000 reports have been recorded, with losses costing Australians $4.4 million. The new scams have been described as “concerning” and have already surpassed those for the whole of 2017.