Better Business Bureau Alert: Online scams proliferate with news of Osama Bin Laden’s death

(Message from the Better Business Bureau) 

 

CHICAGO, IL – In the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden this past weekend, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to watch out for a growing number of cyber-scams that have popped up online.

Consumers should also be wary of links to Bin Laden related Web sites that they find on Twitter, Facebook, or any link with a URL that leads to an unfamiliar webpage. Often these links will lead consumers to Web sites with viruses, or forms that encourage consumers to enter personal information, which can be used to steal their identity, or for phishing scams.

 

Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois cautions, “When looking for information regarding Bin Laden’s death, we urge Internet users to refrain from clicking on images or links in search results to unknown or suspicious domains.”

 

An example of a malicious attack is appearing on Facebook. A fake video claiming to show the death of Bin Laden prompts users to input a URL into their browsers, which will infect their computer with a virus. This virus can then upload your Facebook friend list, and send infected links to all of them as well. This is causing the virus to spread rampantly.

 

Kaspersky Labs, an Internet security firm, reports that other Facebook scams lure victims to malicious Facebook Pages with promises of free airplane tickets, and other “free” offers to “celebrate Osama’s death.”

 

The BBB offers the following tips for reviewing and responding information online:

 

·         Be mindful about clicking on links that offer to show information that’s not widely available from respected news sources.

·         Be wary of free offers “celebrating” any sort of occasion, especially if the offer comes from a company or Web site you haven’t heard of before. Often times all it takes for a scammer to infect your computer with a virus is clicking on one bad link.

·         If you you’re unsure if an offer or a Web site is legitimate, look it up for free www.bbb.org  

 

For more information on how consumers can protect themselves online, visit www.bbb.org