The world is eager for news about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, so eager, that scammers are taking advantage of our curiosity.
Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning about social media links, texts and emails promoting exclusive video footage of the plane’s passengers. In fact, it is an invitation to getting fooled into downloading harmful malware onto your computer.
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." 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 that can access your contacts and follow you around the internet and collect your log ins and passwords.
Another common variation 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 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:
On Facebook, report scam posts and other suspicious activity by following these instructions.
On Twitter, if another user is sending you links to malware or other spam, report it to Twitter by following these instructions.
Founded in 1928, BBB Serving Connecticut is an unbiased, non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior, and is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.