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WSB Scam Alert: Phony Malaysia Airlines 'News'

Do not get suckered by phony news about the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

The Better Business Bureau is warning that online thieves are exploiting the Malaysian Airlines tragedy.  Victims get an e-mail, see a link on social media, or are shown a pop-up ad that claims the Malaysian mystery is solved.  It might lure the curious with words about "exclusive" coverage or "shocking" footage, but it is a trick.

Dottie Callina, with the BBB serving metro Atlanta, says it is called "scam click bait." The clicks often lead to third-party sites instead of real news sites.  Once on the hook, a user is asked to complete a survey before viewing the "news" by filling out some personal information. 

Another version invites the user to upgrade the computer's video player.  By taking those actions, victims could infect their computers with malware, or reveal personal information used to steal their identity.

"Don't take the bait," Callina warns.  "If this is absolutely true, it'll be on the news.  They're not going to ask you to click on a link to go somewhere else and put personal information in to get the actual video." 

Callina has some safety tips for Internet users:

One, before clicking any link, use the mouse to hover over the link, to see if the URL matches a real news site address.  Users can just type in the site address themselves to be sure it is legitimate. 

Two, don't trust your friends' taste online.  It might not actually be them "liking" or sharing scam links to photos, and if it sounds too outlandish, like the post saying "Video of Malaysia MH370 Plane Found in Bermuda Triangle. Passengers Alive," it's likely they've been hacked or tricked themselves.

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News

  • The wife of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says her husband hasn't taken a single breath without pain since what she calls 'a deliberate, blindside attack' by a Kentucky neighbor earlier this month.Authorities say the Republican was attacked Nov. 3 by Rene Boucher while mowing his lawn. Kelley Paul writes in an essay published by CNN that her husband suffered six broken ribs and fluid in his lungs. Paul says he was diagnosed with pneumonia after returning from Washington last week.Boucher is charged with misdemeanor assault. His attorney blames the attack on a 'trivial' dispute and says it wasn't politically motivated.Kelly Paul says neither she, nor her husband, have spoken to Boucher in 10 years. She writes that 'the only 'dispute' existed solely in the attacker's troubled mind.
  • Police are warning mall goers this holiday season after Channel 2 Action News obtained video that shows a man and woman installing a card skimmer on an ATM at Lenox Square. A witness told Channel 2’s Carl Willis he saw it happen and told security. 'It's the season and everyone is going to be pulling out cash,' the witness told Willis, asking not to be identified. 'They did it very swiftly and very quick.' The man told Willis he happened to be standing on the second floor of Lenox Square when he looked down and saw a couple install two devices on an ATM 'I see the guy applying a lot of pressure in the top right corner. I thought that was abnormal,' the man said. TRENDING STORIES: Ex-Braves GM banned for life by MLB; Atlanta loses prospects 60+ people fall ill after company Thanksgiving party Jailhouse phone calls reveal aftermath of deadly heroin-fueled crash Police say the couple seen on the video installed a card skimmer at an ATM in the middle of the mall’s food court 'As you watch you can see that they may have installed a pin camera,' Sgt. Paul Cooper, with the Atlanta Police Department’s major fraud unit, told Willis. With your card number and your PIN, thieves have everything they need to go on a shopping spree. Police told Willis there's been an uptick in this kind of activity in the past couple of years. 'Our best guess is because we're transitioning from the mag-stripe to the chip and pin. The chips are encrypted and it's a lot harder to duplicate those cards,' Cooper said. Cooper worries if scammers are bold enough to hit a mall ATM, there are likely many more devices out there. 'We do try to target these people. We see that they tend to cross state lines they may be working the entire eastern seaboard right now,' Cooper said. For now, shoppers will have to take steps to keep thieves from swiping your information. 'Take that extra couple of seconds. Tug on it (the card reader). Look for those cameras. Just make sure you don't get burned,' Cooper told Willis. 'Definitely cover up your PIN if you're not sure that it's a valid swiper or valid scanner try using another ATM,” the witness said. Police are asking anyone who may recognize the man and woman in the video to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.
  • Holiday shopping mania can make it easy to forget some common-sense rules to keep you and your belongings safe. Police recommend these tips before hitting the stores on Black Friday: 1. Remove valuables from view: After a successful shopping run, you should place and secure all holiday packages in your trunk, away from prying eyes. Thefts are crimes of opportunity, and thieves wait and watch those who park, so lock and secure all windows and doors. 2. Plan your route: Park in well-lighted spots, which thieves tend to avoid. It takes only three minutes for a vehicle to be burglarized or stolen, safety experts say. 3. Don’t leave vehicle idling: No matter how quick the trip into the store will take, always turn off the ignition, lock your doors, roll up the windows and take your keys. 4. Report any suspicious activity: Call 911 if you see something fishy and be sure to give a good description of the suspicious subject. 5. Follow all traffic rules: For instance, don’t block intersections or rights of way, and park only in marked spaces. If you create a parking space, you risk being towed. 6. Keep your eyes peeled: Watch for shoppers crossing streets and walking in parking lots. Look for cars backing in and out of parking spaces. Sunset Valley police want shoppers to remember that all incoming mall traffic has the right of way and should not stop — exiting traffic should always yield.
  • U.S. Rep. Joe Barton told a woman that he would complain to U.S. Capitol Police if sexually explicit photographs of him and other material from their relationship were to be exposed publicly, according to a published report. The Washington Post reported the threat Wednesday after Barton, a North Texas Republican, apologized for a nude photo of him that circulated on social media.The photo of Barton appeared on an anonymous Twitter account. It was not immediately known who posted the photo or when it was taken.Barton issued a statement saying that while separated from his second wife, prior to their divorce in 2015, he had sexual relationships 'with other mature adult women.' The 68-year-old Republican said each relationship was consensual and has since ended.'I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down,' said Barton, the longest-serving member of Congress from Texas.However, a woman whom the Post did not identify told the newspaper of Barton's threat over the sexually explicit photographs, videos and messages he had sent to her. The woman described sexual encounters and contact extending over five years, beginning with her posting of a message on Barton's Facebook page in 2011.She also shared with the Post a secretly recorded telephone conversation with Barton in 2015 in which he warned her against using the material 'in a way that would negatively affect my career.'The Post reported the woman, who is not married, spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her privacy.A message left by The Associated Press at Barton's district office in Arlington, Texas, was not returned. The voicemail for his office in Washington was full.In a statement to the Post, Barton said a transcript of the telephone conversation provided by the newspaper may be 'evidence' of a 'potential crime against me.' He also said that Capitol Police had informed him Wednesday that they were opening an inquiry.Capitol Police did not respond to a request by the AP for comment late Wednesday.Earlier in the day, Barton's spokeswoman told The Dallas Morning News that the congressman has no plans to step down.Barton, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, announced his re-election bid this month. His district includes several counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.Barton was a consultant in the oil and gas industry before he joined the U.S. House in 1985.He is currently the vice chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce committee. He was the committee's chairman from 2004 to 2007.Barton has also been the longtime manager of the GOP congressional baseball team. He was taking part in a team practice in June when a gunman opened fire, injuring another congressman and others.
  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has signaled the start of the holiday season for nearly 100 years. It draws 3 million people in person in New York City, and more than 50 million on television.  There are stars who sing and dance, marching bands and balloons. Big balloons. This year’s version of the parade is set to go off Thursday in New York City with a cast of more than 8,000. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s parade. What time does it start? 9 a.m. ET. It is scheduled to last until noon. What channel is it on? The parade is broadcast on NBC. How long is the parade route? 2.5 miles What is the parade route? The parade begins at 77th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan. It moves south on Central Park West, and at Columbus Circle, it turns east onto Central Park South. When the parade reaches 6th Avenue, it turns south on to 34th Street. At 34th Street it turns west to Macy's Herald Square and ends at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue. When was the first Macy's Thanksgiving day parade? The first parade was held on Christmas in 1924. Which balloons will we see this year? Angry Birds’ Red Ice Age’s Scrat and his Acorn Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Sinclair’s Dino Hello Kitty Pillsbury the Doughboy Ronald McDonald Trolls SpongeBob SquarePants Pikachu The Elf on the Shelf Charlie Brown Diary of a Wimpy Kid Super Wings’ Jett Paw Patrol’s Chase The Grinch Frozen’s Olaf Novelty Balloons Charlie, Kit & C.J. Holiday Elves Harold the Policeman Yellow Star Pumpkins Harold the Baseball Player Rex the Happy Dragon Cloe the Clown Christmas String of Lights Candy Cane Blue Ornament Red and Gold Macy’s Star What about the floats? There will be 31 floats in the parade. Who is performing? Gwen Stefani 98 Degrees Sara Evans Andra Day Cam Common Dustin Lynch Wyclef Jean Goo Goo Dolls Smokey Robinson Kat Graham The Radio City Rockettes Olivia Holt JoJo Siwa Andy Grammer Miss America Cara Mund Leslie Odom Jr. Padma Lakshmi Tom Colicchio Angelica Hale Bebe Rexha Lauren Alaina Nicky Jam Sabrina Carpenter Patti LaBelle Marching Bands There are 12 marching bands in the parade. They are: Nation Ford High School Band West Harrison High School NYPD Marching Band U.S. Air Force Colony High School Band Ohio University Marching Band Rockford High School Marching Band Macy’s Great American Marching Band Prairie View A&M Marching Storm Rosemount High School Marching Band Davis High School Marching Band Trumbull High School Parade History According to the New York Tourist Commission, the inaugural Macy's Day Parade took place on Christmas 1924 and had an audience of 250,000 people. There were no giant balloons until 1927 when Felix the Cat showed up. The parade was first broadcast on radio in 1932. The Balloons The balloons are filled with 12,000 cubic feet of helium. They are inflated the day before Thanksgiving at the American Museum of National History from 3 p.m. -10 p.m. Some numbers On average, 300 bands a year apply for the 12 slots in the parade Those handling the balloons, 30 to 100 of them for each balloon, are volunteers. It  takes 15 minutes to deflate the balloon.    
  • Seven months after losing 300 pounds on “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” Mama June Shannon is here to prove she’s still keeping the weight off! >> Read more trending news The 38-year-old reality star was spotted out and about in Atlanta this week while Christmas shopping and was happy to show off her slim figure. Dressed in athletic wear leggings and a long-sleeved gray shirt, she was all smiles while proving she’s kept her weight loss promise. “I can promise you I’m never going back to that size. I’m happy where I’m at,” Shannon told PEOPLE back in April after she underwent weight loss surgery and drastically changed her diet and exercise routine, going from 460 pounds to a size 4. At the very beginning of her weight loss journey, she wanted to drop the pounds to make her ex Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson jealous at his then-upcoming wedding to his new love. However, over time it became much more than that. “My goal when I first started this weight loss journey was to make Sugar Bear kind of jealous,” she said. “But it’s no longer about revenge. Doing all the surgeries really took a toll on me -- not just physically, but emotionally. I feel like [I’m] becoming the person on the outside that I always felt like [I was] on the inside.” When she made her big debut after shedding the weight, her daughter and “Toddlers & Tiaras” star Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, said, “She looks great. I’m really proud of her.” While Shannon continues to drop jaws whenever she updates fans on how she’s been keeping up her weight loss, she barely turns heads back at home. “It’s kind of crazy. A lot of people don’t recognize who I am until I talk,” she said. “It’s kind of like I’m in my own disguise. Normally when I walk through the streets, everybody notices me, and now it’s like nobody [does].” However, she may not slip under the radar for much longer, because she’s headed back to your television screens in January for “Mama June: From Not to Hot” Season 2: