New "royal" scam takes aim at social media users
BBB explains how not to become a victim of a scam using Britain's new prince as a ploy.Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
A warning from the Better Business Bureau this week: scam artists are trying to trick people into believing there are new images and videos of England's newest prince out there. But the truth is, it's likely a con, aimed at stealing your financial and personal information. Dale Dixon with the BBB spoke with Good Morning Idaho about the scam popping up on social sites like Facebook.
Dixon says, "You are on Facebook, and you see that your friend likes an 'exclusive' video of the new royal baby. The link promises candid footage that no media outlet has. Curious, you click on the link. You are taken to an unfamiliar, 3rd party website. A pop up appears prompting you to 'update your video player' before you are able to view the clip. You click 'OK.' However when you download the file, you aren't updating your software. You are really downloading a virus that scans your machine for banking and other personal information. This opens you up to the risk of identity theft."
Like all scams, Dixon says, this has many variations, and it's not limited to Facebook. Watch out for similar links posted on Twitter, through other social media or sent by email. Scammers can glean your friends' names and emails from their Facebook accounts and send messages posing as them. You receive an email that appears to be sent by a friend or family member. The message addresses you by name, but the content is strange. Usually, it's just a link to a website. If you click on it, you could end up downloading malware to your computer.
Here are some tip to protect yourself from these "click bait" scams:
- Don't trust your friends' taste. It might not even be them "liking" or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked. But it may also be clickjacking, a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking something that you wouldn't otherwise (especially the Facebook "Like" button).
- Don't take the bait. Just 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.
Better Business Bureau has a number of resources to help you protect your identity and money. Find more at the BBB's website.