Whenever a major story dominates the news, scammers take advantage of the public’s interest with online photos, stories 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:
Any of these tactics 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 spamming.
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 profit.
Tips to Protect Yourself from “Click Bait” Scams:
BBB urges consumers to take steps to protect yourself from scams shared through email and social media:
For More Information:
To find out more about scams or to report one, check out BBB Scam Stopper.