Scams Rip-off Today’s Tragedies on Twitter and Facebook

The bombing and shootings in Norway is a fine example that scammers will use any means to take advantage of a tragic situation. The same day of the tragedy, a scammer posted a claim linking victims to a video from an Oslo security camera showing a car bomb blast near a Norwegian government building showing at least 10 people killed.

Social media is great for delivering news and other information before it even hits the headlines of your local newspaper. It is also a perfect system delivering scams to unsuspecting users of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

The Better Business Bureau, Help Net Security as well a Sophos are offering information to help users steer clear of becoming a victim of scams ripped off from current Tweets, Facebook posts and headlines.

The bombing and shootings in Norway is a fine example that scammers will use any means to take advantage of a tragic situation. The same day of the tragedy, a scammer posted a claim linking victims to a video from an Oslo security camera showing a car bomb blast near a Norwegian government building showing at least 10 people killed.

The truth of the matter is such a video has never been released, and it was a lure to scam users and everyone on their friends list. If users see such a message or any similar message on Facebook, they need to delete it from their Facebook feed and not click on it. They need to reported it to Facebook security.

Help Net Security says the scam infects one user per second. Facebook users are the main targets of these types of scams. First recent scam was The Oslo bombing news, and then came the ones enticing victims in with fictional videos of the last moments of Amy Winehouse life.

Sophos reports variations of “Leaked Video!! Amy Winehouse On Crack hours before death,” “Video leaked of Amy Winehouse’s death!!! Warning: Graphical Content” and “SHOCKING — Amy Winehouse’s Final Minutes” offering a look with just a click away. Actually, the click takes users to pages that ask them to “like” the page and to answer survey questions before being allowed to see the shocking video.

Scammers are outright dishonest, and I am being kind when I say this. They are most likely criminals, who will sooner or later get caught. If you don’t think they are criminals, then you will agree that they have no concept of right and wrong or self-respect. Feeding off tragedies to make money is for the news media, not deceptive scammers looking for a quick buck from commissions by leading victims to online surveys.

The fact that they trick anybody into sharing the link with other Facebook friends should be the first red flag to tell you to delete it and don’t continue. But, if you are one of the people who were duped by this type of scam, be sure to remove any trace of it from your account (“Likes and interests” section) and news feed, and make sure you report the scam to Facebook.

More tragedies will happen with postings on Facebook and Twitter, but be sure to stay vigilant for scammers. If you want more details about a tragic event, you can read your newswires, like Yahoo, Associated Press and so forth.

Even if you are sure that the link is the URL of a valid site, you would be better off if you double-checked the site by entering the domain name manually while using the internal search feature so as to find the wanted news item.