AirAsia has warned consumers of an ongoing Facebook scam under the guise of a "Tony Fernandes Foundation". According to the airline, the scam features an individual impersonating Fernandes and reaching out to Facebook users via Messenger. The impersonator cites a Tony Fernandes Foundation offering opportunities to assist in projects and offer financial assistance in exchange for membership of the fictitious foundation. Users are instructed to contact a personal assistant named Mark Kelvin, who will ask for a membership fee to join the Tony Fernandes Foundation.
The airline has confirmed that it has not established any other foundation other than its official AirAsia Foundation. "The mentioned Tony Fernandes Foundation is in no way linked to AirAsia or its Group CEO Tony Fernandes. Any message purporting to be from Tony Fernandes or Mark Kelvin or sent in relation to a Tony Fernandes Foundation is fraudulent," AirAsia said in a statement.
It also advised the public to be cautious when revealing personal data or details, and to always refer to AirAsia's official communication channels such as its Facebook page, Twitter account, or its customer support service. AirAsia will not be held liable for any claims arising from such scams.
The scam comes just two weeks after AirAsia launched its initiatives to help businesses and communities during this period of time. The airline company unveiled its "Save Our Shops (S.O.S)" initiative which urges local merchants to list on AirAsia's online store OURSHOP to sell their items. Additionally, it also launched a public digital donation under its AirAsia Foundation to help vulnerable communities impacted by the pandemic. Funds raised through this donation drive will be channelled to social enterprises and charities such as Perak State Parks, SEED Foundation and Beyond Borders Malaysia that provide food and medical aid to Orang Asli families, people without permanent shelter and refugees.
This is not the first time Fernandes has been involved in a scam. In September 2016, Fernandes was wrongly accused of endorsing advertisements on get-rich-quick schemes on social media - which prompted the airline to issue a statement in addressing it. The airline company has also been involved in scams multiple times over the years.
Last year, it warned consumers not to engage with an online scam circulating via email with the subject title "AirAsia Big Loyalty Bonus". AirAsia was also involved in two social media scams back in 2017. The scam sees a social media post that has been circulating offering free tickets through an online survey. The scam post directs people to a link, and requires participants to answer questions in order to redeem the vouchers, said the airline in a statement to A+M. In addition, AirAsia said there is also another scam circulating on Facebook, offering 268 free AirAsia tickets in conjunction with AirAsia’s 28th anniversary.
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