Unless you have been hiding in a cave, you have no doubt heard the news of Osama Bin Laden's death. I think I can safely say that this is a major sigh of relief. I would also like to thank our brave troops who risked their lives to finally bring down the man responsible for the horrors of September 11th.
As usual scammers have seen this as a way to capitalize on this. Below is a report from the Better Busssiness Bureau (BBB) on ways that cyber-scammers are attacking and how to protect yourself:
In the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden this past weekend, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to watch out for a slew of cyber-scams that have popped up in the past few days.
According to Kaspersky Labs, an Internet security firm, malicious Web sites and links have been proliferating on Google Images search, Facebook, and other social media sites.
On Facebook, a fake video purporting to show the death of Bin Laden prompts users to input a malicious URL into their browsers, which will infect their computer with a virus. Kaspersky also 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."
Consumers should also be very wary of links to Osama related Web sites that they find on Twitter, or any link with a URL that leads to an unfamiliar web page. 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.
One local resident forwarded an email message to the BBB that he received as part of a foreign letter scam. The message claims to be from a General in the United States Marine Corps who had been assigned to the raid on Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. He claims to have $10 million that he obtained due to his role in the raid, which needs to be "evacuated" over to the U.S. and in safe hands while he completes his investigation in Pakistan.
BBB (Better Business Bureau) experience shows with foreign letter scams that if the email recipient falls for the story and responds back, eventually they will be asked to provide their bank account number. If that number is provided, the account will be cleaned out by the scam artist - not enriched with millions of dollars.
-Be mindful about clicking on links that claim to show information that's not widely available from respected news sources. In the case of Bin Laden, no photos or videos related to his death have been released. Be extremely skeptical of links that say otherwise.
-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.
-Keep in mind that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Ask yourself why you would be selected by a stranger to help them transfer millions of dollars out of a foreign country. You should never provide your bank account number or other personal information to anyone you are not familiar with.