Video scam exploits Robin Williams' death
NATIONWIDE (WGME) - As people continue to mourn the death of comedian Robin Williams, we have a CBS 13 On Your Side warning about some of the messages you might come across on social media. Some of those posts that aren't what they appear to be.
When there's a big story in the news, scammers often try to cash in and exploit tragedy. They come up with online photos, bogus videos, and links that claim to offer sensational details, and that's just what we're seeing now in the days after the death of Robin Williams.
It's called click baiting because if you click on the links it takes you somewhere you don't expect. One scam campaign promises an exclusive goodbye video from the actor just before his death. Online security companies say this video has been shared more than 20 million times on Facebook. The Better Business Bureau warns you can get a virus or help scammers make money when you click the link.
If you click, it will likely lead you to what may look like a video player, but you're really just downloading a virus. Or it might take you to a survey. If you fill it out, scammers will have your information they can then sell to companies.
"Scammers also post sensational or emotional content as a way of collecting 'likes' on a Facebook account. After enough 'likes' and comments, they can turn around and sell the account for a profit,” Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Paula Fleming explains in a news release.
To protect your computer and personal information from click bait scams:
- Hover over a link to see the real destination.
- Don't install applications or do surveys in order to see gated content.
- Don't necessarily trust your friends online. Their account may have been hacked.
- Report any online content you think is suspicious.
Facebook says it's aware of this scam campaign and is taking steps to block the URLs.