Online Scams Proliferate In The Wake Of Osama’s Death

In the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden this past weekend, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is warning consumers to watch out for a slew of cyber-scams that have popped up in the past few days.

According to Kaspersky Labs, an Internet security firm, malicious websites and links have been proliferating on Google Images search, Facebook, and other social media sites.

On Facebook, a fake video purporting to show the death of Bin Laden prompts users to input a malicious URL into their browsers, which will infect their computer with a virus. Kaspersky also reports that other Facebook scams lure victims to malicious Facebook Pages with promises of free airplane tickets, and other offers to celebrate Osama’s death.

Consumers should also be very wary of links to Bin Laden-related websites that they find on Twitter, or any link with a URL that leads to an unfamiliar webpage. Often these links will lead consumers to websites with viruses, or forms that encourage consumers to enter personal information, which can be used to steal their identity, or for phishing scams.

BBB Tips:

  • Be mindful about clicking on links that purport to show information that’s not widely available from respected news sources. In the case of Bin Laden, the White House has announced no photos or videos related to his death will be released. Be extremely skeptical of links that say otherwise.
  • Be wary of free offers celebrating any sort of occasion, especially if the offer comes from a company or website you haven’t heard of before. Often times, all it takes for a scammer to infect your computer with a virus is clicking on one bad link.
  • If you you’re unsure if an offer or a website is legitimate, contact the BBB at 1-800-646-6222.