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Clickbait Scams Following Death of Kobe Bryant

(KFOR NEWS  January 29, 2020)  The Better Business Bureau is warning basketball fans everywhere to not let their mourning cloud their judgment.

The tragic death of Kobe Bryant is likely to generate scams exploiting fans’ eagerness for information and memorabilia. There will be Internet scams related to this on: emails, attachments, social media and text messages. Remember to Think Before You ClickBBB has seen this happen numerous times in the past when celebrities have died unexpectedly and is warning consumers to be on the lookout for scams mentioning the Lakers star and his daughter, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Spear phishing emails are directed towards an individual, organization or business with a catchy headline. The sender claims to be from a reputable news organization capitalizing on trending news with an exclusive video, image or document they want to share with you. There is typically a link that will lead the user to a malicious website if they click on it.

  • Look at the sender’s email address before clicking on anything in the email. If it’s someone you’re not familiar with, delete it.
  • Don’t click links in any email unless you are positive they go to a reputable address. Hover over the link to see where it will take you.

Clickbait is a sensationalized post about trending news items highlighting exclusive, breaking or urgent news inciting people to quite literally, click on it. The description uses words like “amaze,” “shocking” or “never seen before footage.” Once clicked, the reader is taken to a site that may allow cybercriminals to hijack your account or steal personal information.

  • Don’t take the bait. Stay away from promotions of “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational” footage. If it sounds too outlandish to be true, it is probably a scam.
  • Hover over a link to see its true destination. Before you click, mouse over the link to see where it will take you. Don’t click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.
  • Don’t trust your “friends” online. It might not actually be your friends who are “liking” or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked, and scammers could be using another tactic called “clickjacking.” Clickjacking is a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking on social media links that you would not usually click on.

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