Use Extreme Caution When Clicking on Internet Info about Prince’s Death, Warns BBB

Use Extreme Caution When Clicking on Internet Info about Prince’s Death, Warns BBB

Chicago – Comments about the untimely death of rock star Prince yesterday exploded across social media. Scammers can be using this as their opening to load malware and infect your computer, which could result in you losing data including passwords, warns the Better Business Bureau.

“If previous celebrity deaths and tragedies are any indication, the public’s fascination and desire to get more information about a person is a means for the bad guys to capture personal information because the public’s guard is down,” states Steve J. Bernas, President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.
“One typical technique that scammers use is to promote the idea that a specific link or website has inside information, such as the celebrity’s dying words,” Bernas explains.

“This grabs the attention of a mourning public wanting more information. Unfortunately, this is exactly the opportunity these scammers are looking for.”
Bernas 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 account may have been hacked and scammers could be using another tactic called „clickjacking”. Clickjacking is a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking on social media links that you would not usually click on.

· Report scam posts on Facebook by following instructions on this link.

· Report malware or spam on Twitter by following these instructions.

For more information on scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (www.bbb.org/scamstopper). Report scams (whether or not you’ve lost money) to BBB Scam Tracker (www.bbb.org/scamtracker).

Steve J. Bernas, President & CEO
Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois

Photo: Balazs Mohai/EPA

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