East County Business News – Royal birth triggers `click-bait’ scams, warns Better Business Bureau

by Rick Griffin

Scammers on social media are exploiting the royal birth of Prince George, the San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning. The scam, called “click-bait” or “click-jacking,” refers to any technique that tricks people into clicking a website link they wouldn’t otherwise. The BBB said con men are taking advantage of the public’s intense eagerness to see anything about George Alexander Louis, the newborn son of William and Catherine and third in line to the British throne.
The scam, appearing on Facebook and other social media sites, as well as e-mail, begins with a link promising exclusive royal baby candid video that no media outlet has. The link takes viewers to an unfamiliar website and a prompt requiring an update of video software. However, by clicking “ok,” victims are actually downloading a virus that will scan their computer for banking and other personal financial information for the purpose of identity theft. Also, the virus will glean friends’ names and e-mails and then send e-mail messages posing as them.
The BBB recommends avoiding unfamiliar websites and be skeptical of outlandish offers of “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational” photos or video. Before you click, hover your mouse over the link to see its actual destination. Also, be aware that your friends’ accounts may have been hacked.