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.