The bigger the news story, the bigger the opportunity for scammers. With the new royal baby making headlines across the globe, the Better Business Bureau expects to see scammers swooping in to take advantage of the public's eagerness to see photos of the newborn prince.
How the Scam Works:
You are on Facebook, and you see that your friend likes an "exclusive" video of the new royal baby. The link promises candid footage that no media outlet has. Curious, you click on the link.
You are taken to an unfamiliar, third party website. A pop up appears prompting you to "update your video player" before you are able to view the clip. You click "Ok." However when you download the file, you aren't updating your software. You are really downloading a virus that scans your machine for banking and other personal information. This opens you up to the risk of identity theft.
Like all scams this has many variations, and it's not limited Facebook. Watch out for similar links posted on Twitter, through other social media or sent by email. Scammers can glean your friends' names and emails from their Facebook accounts and send messages posing as them.
The easiest way to protect yourself from these scams is to just stay away from promotions promising "exclusive," "shocking" or "sensational" footage. If it sounds too outlandish to be true, it probably is.
Another thing to remember to do is check a link's true destination before clicking. Hover over the link to see where it will take you. Don't click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.
For more information, go to bbb.org.