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Fake Brussels Airport 'lost luggage sale' ads traced to Kenya

09:14 07/11/2023

Ads on social media that claim people can buy luggage lost at Brussels Airport for just €1.95 are a scam, consumers are being warned.

The ads, which are posted by an account called ‘Brussels Airport’, claim to sell abandoned or lost luggage and all the "surprise" contents within, RTBF reports.

They are often accompanied by a multitude of glowing comments that seem to bolster the legitimacy of the sale, but these are false.

“These are obviously fake accounts,” said Brussels Airport spokesperson Nathalie Piérard. “They are scams, and unfortunately there are more and more of them on social networks.”

The ads feature a ‘buy’ button that directs would-be victims to a website that tries to obtain their bank details.

A Belgian contact number listed for the page has a prefix of 01 (whereas the airport’s official numbers have an 02 prefix), but calls are met with an automatic message explaining that the number does not exist.

The WhatsApp account associated with the user posting the ads is tied to a number with an area code in Kenya, RTBF found, and the ‘Brussels Airport’ Facebook account itself has only a few photos of luggage and the airport while others show wedding or graduation ceremonies that seemingly took place somewhere in Africa.

“Brussels Airport obviously doesn't handle lost luggage in this way – there are very strict procedures in place, both on the part of the baggage handling companies for baggage that has already been checked in, and on the part of the airport for any objects, bags or other items that you forget in the terminal,” said Piérard.

“In both cases, these items go through a whole procedure. They are classified and every effort is made to trace their owners. These objects and luggage would never just appear on a Facebook account.”

Brussels Airport is asking that people never respond to this type of advertisement and instead report the fake accounts that post them, adding that the airport has already reported several such accounts to Facebook itself, requesting that they be deleted.

Written by Helen Lyons