DENVER (CBS4) – Scammers are looking to take advantage of Robin Williams’ death.
A social media scheme asks users to view a video of the actor and comedian’s purported goodbye but instead transports them to a survey that captures information that will likely be sold to solicitors and spammers. Another version may trigger a virus that could ultimately lead to identity theft.
The Better Business Bureau says the “click-baiting” trick is frequently employed to exploit tragedy.
“Anything that’s big in the news, the scammers take hold and say, ‘We’re going to take advantage of people’s curiosity or people’s emotions.’ And it’s really some of the worst type of fraud out there, especially when it involves someone’s deaths,” BBB spokeswoman Megan Herrera told CBS4.
Herrera says it’s important not to click on anything suspicious when using social media. Even the accounts of friends could be hacked.
“Think before you click on things. If it sounds outlandish
or if it sounds like something that would be very enticing it could be too good to be true. It could definitely be a scam,” she said.
Victims of the scam should report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov.