Click bait scams: Don’t take the bait

  • John North
  • Better Business Bureau
2:35 p.m Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 Business
John North, Dayton Better Business Bureau president. CONTRIBUTED

These days, it seems people cannot put their phones or handheld devices down for even a minute. With all the technology and social media sites available, scammers are having an easier time targeting victims. One of the latest scams is called click baiting. Click baiting means someone is baiting you to click on a link by tying it to something you like or with a flashy ad. However, by clicking you could end up losing money, personal information or allowing a virus into your computer.

Better Business Bureau warns you to use caution when clicking on links online or opening attachments from people you do not know. An ad, article, game or in some cases memes can lead individuals to potentially reveal personal information or expose their computers to viruses.

BBB offers these tips to keep you safe from these scams:

• Be cautious of videos that redirect you to update your video player. Once you put in your information for the upgrade, hackers can access everything on your computer.

• Stay away from promotions using words like “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational.”

• Hover over links to see their true destinations. Don’t click if they take you to unfamiliar websites.

• Check credible media outlets for similar information before clicking anything.

• Be wary of clickjacking of friend’s profiles. It may not always be your friend sharing a link with you or requesting you as a friend. Scammers can hack profiles and send out malicious links that will infect your computer with a virus.

• Change your password if you think your account has been compromised.

• Check the latest version of your spam and malware software not just on your PC, but also on your phone, tablet or any other device connected on the internet.

• Avoid clicking on things that would normally cost you money, such as IQ tests, exclusive pictures of celebrities and credit scores. These types of click bait are most likely to scam you by installing malware onto your computer.

• Be wary of posts with poor spelling, capitalization and grammar mistakes.

• Report any scam posts you find to the host website.

For more information on scams or to report one, visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301. You can also visit BBB Scam Tracker to view scams occurring in your area or report one.

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