Malicious web links attaching themselves to the West, Texas tragedy are circulating the web
AUSTIN,Texas – April 22, 2013 – A week-long of tragedies can bring out the best in a community, but unfortunately it can also bring about those looking to take advantage of the situation. Better Business Bureau is warning the public to beware of phony solicitations and avoid clicking on suspicious web links in wake of the recent tragedies.
Shortly after the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, a link indicating “CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fertilizer Plant Explosion Near Waco, Texas,” began circulating the web. Clicking the link would take you to a video of the disaster, but another video window link would appear over the video. If clicked, the subsequent link would download malicious malware on to your computer.
Not long after the word of the Boston Marathon bombings, a charity scam popped up under a fake Twitter account asking account users to retweet information in exchange for a donation. That page was shutdown after users noticed it wasn’t legitimate.
If you’re looking to donate to a charity to help victims, BBB recommends:
- Do your homework. Always research a charity through BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance website, www.give.org, before making a donation.
- Find a charity yourself. Rather than being pressured into anon-the-spot donation, BBB recommends choosing a well-known charity or one that has been endorsed by local or state authorities in the aftermath of a tragedy.
- Confirm text code numbers. If you plan to donate by text message, confirm the text code number directly with the charity. Also, keep in mind that text message donations are typically not immediate. Depending on your cell phone provider, the donation may not show up on your bill for 30 to 90 days.
- Avoid suspicious links.Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or in texts or emails.These may take you to a lookalike website where you will be asked to provide financial information. Also, avoid clicking suspicious links asking you to ‘click here’ for ‘never before seen video.’ It may lead you to a site where harmful malware could be downloaded on to your computer.