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Beware of fake Instagram giveaway accounts

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Free roundtrip tickets from airlines. All you have to do is follow them Instagram. It's a scam that a lot of people have fallen for.

The bogus giveaways are making the rounds on Instagram and Facebook. They look like legitimate offers from airlines including Southwest and Jetblue.

The fake accounts ask users to provide personal information for a chance to win free flights. And that could put you at risk of identity theft.

Thousands of people have already started following these fake accounts and tonight the airlines are pushing back trying to get them shutdown.

There's a fake Southwest Instagram account offering 100 pairs of roundtrip tickets to the first 30,000 followers -- seems unbelievable but by Monday afternoon, 26,000 users had taken the bait.

"How reasonable would that be for airlines, many of whom are in bankruptcy or right on the edge? How reasonable would it be for them to do this? So you're probably thinking this isn't real," says Brandon Disney of Data Doctors.

Brandon Disney with Data Doctors says the danger with scams like this is what happens after you start following. The scammers may ask for personal information.

"In order to claim your prize, I need you to provide me your first name, last name, social security, email address who knows what and get a whole bunch of personal information that I can sell and they start doing phone and email scams."

In a statement Southwest Airlines said it is currently working to deactivate several fake Instagram accounts that advertise a ticket giveaway promotion using the hashtag #southwestgiveaways."

But Southwest is not alone. JetBlue, Delta, American and United have all had similar accounts set up too.

"If a company is going to put together a legitimate offer, they are probably going to have places on their own website where they are advertising that. So maybe get to the website and see if they mention that deal there. If you are on Twitter look there. Look for other places where you can verify that kind of deal," says Disney.

It's a cliché but the best advice is, if looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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