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Central Virginia
Online Scams Proliferate in the Wake of Osama’s Death
May 04, 2011

Richmond, VA – May 4, 2011- In the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden this past weekend, Better Business Bureau serving Central Virginia is warning consumers to watch out for a slew of cyber-scams that have popped up in the past few days.

According to Kaspersky Labs, an Internet security firm, malicious Web sites and links have been proliferating on Google Images search, Facebook, and other social media sites.

On Facebook, a fake video purporting to show the death of Bin Laden prompts users to input a malicious URL into their browsers, which will infect their computer with a virus. Kaspersky also reports that other Facebook scams lure victims to malicious Facebook Pages with promises of free airplane tickets, and other “free” offers to “celebrate Osama’s death.”

Consumers should also be very wary of links to Osama related Web sites that they find on Twitter, or any link with a URL that leads to an unfamiliar webpage. Often these links will lead consumers to Web sites with viruses, or forms that encourage consumers to enter personal information, which can be used to steal their identity, or for phishing scams.

BBB Tips:

  • Be mindful about clicking on links that purport to show information that’s not widely available from respected news sources. In the case of Bin Laden, no photos or videos related to his death have been released. Be extremely skeptical of links that say otherwise.
  • Be wary of free offers “celebrating” any sort of occasion, especially if the offer comes from a company or Web site you haven’t heard of before. Often times all it takes for a scammer to infect your computer with a virus is clicking on one bad link.
  • If you you’re unsure if an offer or a Web site is legitimate, contact BBB at www.bbb.org.

For more information on how consumers can protect themselves against scams, or to find reputable businesses they can visit www.richmond.bbb.org

 

About BBB Serving Central Virginia

BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. Incorporated locally in 1954, today your BBB serves communities in Central Virginia, supported by over 4,000 BBB Accredited Businesses. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.