The world is glued to the news about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. Now, scammers are taking advantage of curiosity over the missing flight. BBB is warning, don’t fall for click bait teasers promoting exclusive footage of found passengers.
How the Scam Works
You are on Facebook, and a post catches your attention. “Video of Malaysia MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle. Passengers alive,” it teases.
Another popular version promises: “[NEWS FLASH] Missing Plane Has Been Found!” You click the link, thinking it leads to a news site. Instead, you are taken to an unfamiliar, third party website. A pop up may appear prompting you to “update your video player.” But when you click “OK,” you aren’t getting a new software version. You are really downloading malware.
Like all scams, this has many variations. Another common version asks you to take a survey before viewing the video. In the worst case, sharing your information can open you up to identity theft. Even more likely, your information will end up getting sold to spammers. This scam is also not limited to Facebook. Watch out for similar links posted on Twitter, through other social media sites, or sent by email.
Tips to Protect Yourself from “Click Bait” Scams:
Take the following steps to protect yourself and others from scam links shared through email and social media:
* Don’t take the bait. Stay away from promotions of “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational” footage. If it sounds too outlandish (Bermuda Triangle, really?) to be true, it is probably a scam.
* Hover over a link to see its true destination. Before you click, mouse over the link to see where it will take you. Don’t click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.
* Don’t trust your friends’ taste online. It might not actually be them “liking” or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked. But it may also be clickjacking, a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking something that you wouldn’t otherwise (especially the Facebook “Like” button).
* On Facebook, report scam posts and other suspicious activity by following the instructions
* On Twitter, if another user is sending you links to malware or other spam, report it to Twitter.
For more consumer tips, go to www.bbb.org or call (800) 388-2222.