BBB warns of phishing and clickbait scams following death of Kobe Bryant

Published: Jan. 31, 2020 at 2:21 PM EST
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In wake of the recent death of

the Better Business Serving Western Virginia (BBB) is warning of phishing and clickbait scams.

Phishing emails target individuals, organizations, or businesses with a catchy subject line. 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. These links can lead users to a malicious website once clicked.

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

"Phishing emails and clickbait scams affect everyone," says Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western Virginia. "It's important we take proper security & precautions to avoid clicking into a malicious site."

The BBB says these scams have happened numerous times in the past after an unexpected celebrity death.

To avoid phishing scams, the BBB says to check the sender's email address before clicking on anything in the email. If it's someone you're not familiar with, delete it. Also, don't click links in any email unless you are positive they go to a reputable address. Before you click, hover over the link to see where it will take you. Another tip is to look for spelling and grammatical errors.

To avoid clickbait scams, the BBB says to stay away from promotions that claim to have "exclusive," "shocking" or "sensational" footage. If it sounds too outlandish to be true, it is probably a scam. Be sure to use trusted media sources and don't click on links leading to an unfamiliar website. You also want to be wary of clickjacking of "friends" profiles. Scammers can hack into social media accounts and use a tactic called "clickjacking," which tricks you into clicking on links you would not usually click. The BBB says you should also 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.

The BBB encourages people to report these types of scams to the host website and

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