Scammers Forge Facebook Profiles of Malaysian Airlines Victims
If a tragedy makes the headlines, scammers will take advantage of it. Unfortunately, the recent crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is no exception. Spammers are using "news" of the tragedy as click bait for Facebook cons.
The scammers lure you in on Facebook by sharing a post catches your attention. It appears to be from the account of a Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash victim, and the post seems to link to information about the tragedy.
You click the link, thinking it leads to a news website. But instead of news, you get a barrage of spam ads for online gambling and other similar products.
Scammers love to take advantage of the hype surrounding major news stories -- especially tragedies. In addition to impersonating victims or family members on Facebook, con artists also post teasers for "sensational" video footage relating to the event. Click the link, and you may be prompted to "update your video player" (scam-speak for download malware) or take a survey before viewing. Doing either of these can open you up to identity theft or give scammers information (such as email addresses and cell phone numbers) they can sell to spammers.
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.
Take the following steps to protect yourself and others from scam links shared through email and social media:
Social media opens many avenues to keep up to date on the latest news events; unfortunately scam artists are watching the news in order to develop their next scam. Avoid clicking on those sensationalized links and confirm stories using a reputable news outlet before sharing or retweeting it.