Watch out for fake missing Malaysian airline pictures on social media

ONLINE THREAT ALERTS
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POSTED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 5:55pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 6:14pm

We're all curious about the missing Malaysian plane and any updates available. But, if you see a story about it on your Facebook or Twitter page, make sure the link is not a scam.

A few stories show the plane has been spotted near the Bermuda triangle or other stories that claim they are from a major news source. But, these stories are not true and you might be the next victim in this growing scam on social media.

No matter what is topping headlines, scammers seem to find a way into your computer or phone.

"Scammers are very intelligent and they know that people are interested in what's going on in the world right now,'' said CEO of the Better Business Bureau Mechele Mills.

They used stories with pictures from past plane crashes and making headlines such as "Malaysian airplane MH 370 already found, shocking video release today by CNN."

But, once you click on that link, it will ask you for your age and then from there take you to another page that doesn't even show the story.

"It's very hard to get out of the website without them getting some information,"said Mills.

The other tricky part, you can't exit out of the page until you share it to your Facebook or Twitter page.

"The only way you can get out of it is to hit OK. There is no way to get out of it unless you turn off your phone."

If you end up clicking on the fake link, scammers can install viruses into your computer.

"Depending on what you have on your computer and many of us store very personal things on the computer, they can get that information."

So, Mills suggest before clicking on a link, check the official news source.

"Be very carful with clicking on cute videos or exciting videos or any interesting videos before you check the website first."

Mills said some ways you can prevent this from happening is don't click on any links or any attachments unless you verify where it came from first. Also, make sure you have the most up to date software on your computers. Use caution if someone is asking you to fill out a survey before you read the story. If they are trying to get more and more information from you, do research and make sure you want to share your personal information with that company.

"When you're using an app on social media and if you look at the fine print, it says will you allow us access and all of your friends or will you allow us to post on your behalf and if you don't want them to do that, don't sign up with them," said Mills.

There are reports that Facebook and Twitter have removed these spam sites, but if you see headlines that seem fake to you, it probably is.
 

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