Baton Rouge, LA, August 14, 2014....Whenever a major story dominates the news, scammers take advantage of the public's interest in online photos, stores and social media links that claim to offer sensational details. This tactic is called “click baiting." Unfortunately, the bait that is being used right now involves the death of Robin Williams. BBB warns consumers about clicking on links, downloading pictures or purchasing commemorative souvenirs, unless you are on an established website with built~in buyer protections.
Con artists exploit tragedies in these ways:
-Impersonating victims or family members on social media;
-Selling memorabilia, often promising that some or all of the proceeds will go
-Posting teasers for sensational video footage or photos.
Any of these can lead to downloading malware on your computer or smartphone, sharing personal information that can lead to identity theft, or providing information that can be used for additional scamming.
Scammers also post sensational or emotional content as a way of collecting “likes” on a Facebook account. After enough “likes" and comments, they can turn around and sell the account for a profile.
Tips to Protect Yourself from “Click Bait" Scams:
BBB urges consumers to take steps to protect themselves from scams 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 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” online. It might not actually be your friends who are “liking” or sharing scam links to photos. Their accounts may have been hacked and scammers could be using another tactic, called “clickjacking.” Clickjacking is a technique that scammers us to trick you into clicking on social media links that you would not usually click on.
~ Report scam posts on Facebook.
~ Report malware or spam on Twitter.
To find out more about scams or to report one, check out
For more than 100 years, BBB has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, consumers turned to BBB 132 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB of South Central Louisiana, Inc. has been serving the local community since 1950 and services the parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge & West Feliciana.