Better Business Bureau Warns Oklahomans About 'Click Bait' Scams

Friday, November 14th 2014, 11:07 pm
By: News 9

Have you ever been tempted to click on a sensational or emotional story that pops up in your social media newsfeed? Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central Oklahoma warns that click to the story could lead you to a fraudulent website. In fact, the most recent tactic scammers may use is the recent leak of nude celebrity photos.

"BBB has seen similar tactics in the past with emails and social media messages claiming to show photos of the death of Osama bin Laden, newborn Prince George of Britain and most recently, Robin Williams' last words," said Kitt Letcher, president and CEO of BBB. "Oklahomans should exercise caution and not click on any links or photos from unknown senders."

The celebrity photo leak occurred on Aug. 31, claiming to offer hundreds of nude photos of celebrities, including Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton and pop singer Rihanna, among others. Some celebrities confirmed the authenticity of the photos, while others claimed they were fake.

In the ‘click bait' scam, consumers think they are clicking on these links or downloading photos but instead they are installing malware on your computer or smartphone. Some sites may ask for personal information that can lead to identity theft or be used for additional spamming.

BBB is offering the following tips to protect Oklahomans from "click bait" scams:

  • Don't take the bait. Stay away from promotions of ‘exclusive,' ‘shocking,' or ‘sensational' video or photos.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Delete unsolicited emails or social media messages that raise red flags.
  • 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 ‘click jacking.' Click jacking 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. Click on the downward arrow on the right corner of the content box and click on ‘Report this Post.'

Learn more about reporting scams on Facebook.

  • Report malware or spam on Twitter. Visit the spam account's profile, click on the gear icon and select ‘Block or Report.' Individual tweets can be reported by clicking on the ‘More' icon and selecting ‘Block or Report.'

Learn more about reporting scams on Twitter.

Learn more about the Better Business Bureau's 'Scam Stopper.'