Beware Mango free tickets hoax

A new hoax from alleged scammers pretending to be Mango promises people free airline tickets in exchange for sharing a “promotion” with 20 people.

The following “promotional message” is being shared on WhatsApp:

*Mango Airlines is giving away 2 Free tickets Per family to celebrate its 15th Anniversary* . Get your free tickets at: http://www.flyṃ

Upon clicking the link, you are redirected to, and then to


MyBroadband forum members noted that the scam appears to use an IDN homograph attack, an exploit in Punycode when non-Latin characters are used in URLs.

Security researcher Xudong Zheng demonstrated this exploit last year.

In the case of the Mango hoax, there is a small dot under the “m” in the URL. In Punycode, it would be written as:

Zheng said Firefox users can set the browser to always display non-Latin URLs in Punycode by going to “about:config” and setting “network.IDN_show_punycode” to true.

Chrome fixed the issue in version 59 of the browser.

Mango has confirmed that the promotion is a hoax and said it is working to shut it down.

Now read: YouTube to fight hoaxes with information cues

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Beware Mango free tickets hoax