Scam Alert: Scammers take advantage of Malaysian Airlines Flight Mystery

Scam Alert: Scammers take advantage of Malaysian Airlines Flight Mystery

Don’t fall for social media teasers promoting exclusive footage of found passengers.
MIDLAND -- The world is eager for news about missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370--so eager in fact, that scammers are taking advantage of the public’s curiosity.

A fake video clip is at the center of this scam. As you scroll through your social media feed, you may see titles like, “Video of Malaysia MH370 Plane Found in Bermuda Triangle Passengers alive,” or “[NEWS FLASH] Missing Plane Has Been Found!” If you click the link you are taken to an unfamiliar, third party website. A popup may appear, prompting you to “update your video player.” But when you click “OK,” you aren’t getting a new software version, you are downloading malware.

Like all scams, this has many variations. Another common version asks you to take a survey before viewing the video. By filling in your person information, you can open yourself up to identity theft or your information could be sold to spammers.

This scam is also not limited to Facebook. Watch out for similar links posted on Twitter, and other social media or sent by email.

Here are some steps to protect yourself and others from shared scam links:

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, hover over the link to see where it will take you. Don’t click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.

Don’t trust your friends’ taste online. It might not actually be them “liking” or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked. But it may also be “clickjacking,” a technique scammers use to trick you into clicking something that you wouldn’t otherwise.

Report scam posts. 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.

To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.
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