Malaysian Airlines tease puts malware on your computer, don’t click

The world is eager for news about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. So eager, in fact, that scammers are taking advantage of our curiosity. Don’t fall for click bait teasers promoting exclusive footage of found passengers. It sounds like a sick April Fool’s joke, but it’s a real scam.

This scam email downloads a malware when you click on the converter tool. Tip off: John Parker, author, looks a lot like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

This scam email downloads a malware when you click on the converter tool. Tip off: John Parker, author, looks a lot like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

How the Scam Works:

You are on Facebook, and a post catches your attention. “Video of Malaysia MH370 Plane Found in Bermuda Triangle. Passengers alive,” it teases. Another popular version promises: “[NEWS FLASH] Missing Plane Has Been Found!” 

You click the link, thinking it leads to a news site. Instead, you are taken to an unfamiliar, third party website. A pop up may appear prompting you to “update your video player.” But when you click “OK,” you aren’t getting a new software version. You are really downloading malware.

Like all scams, this has many variations. Another common version asks you to take a survey before viewing the video. In the worst case, sharing your information can open you up to identity theft. Even more likely, your information will end up getting sold to spammers.

This scam is also not to limited Facebook. Watch out for similar links posted on Twitter, through other social media or sent by email.

Tips to Protect Yourself From “Click Bait” Scams:

  • Take the following steps to protect yourself and others from scam links shared through email and social media:
  • Don’t take the bait. Stay away from promotions of “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational” footage. If it sounds too outlandish (Bermuda Triangle, really?) to be true, it is probably a scam.
  • Hover over a link to see its true destination. Before you click, mouse over the link to see where it will take you. Don’t click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.
  • Don’t trust your friends’ taste online. It might not actually be them “liking” or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked. But it may also be clickjacking, a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking something that you wouldn’t otherwise (especially the Facebook “Like” button).
  • On Facebook, report scam posts and other suspicious activity by following these instructions.
  • On Twitter, if another user is sending you links to malware or other spam, report it to Twitter by following these instructions.
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1 Comment

Filed under News You Can Trust

One response to “Malaysian Airlines tease puts malware on your computer, don’t click

  1. Mark Burrows

    When I go grocery shopping, and I am standing in line to load off at a clerk, I will see all of the whacky newspapers such as the National Enquirer and ones that report UFO sightings, freaks of nature, and such things of the supernatural. Yet, I am never so curious or tempted to pick one up and put it in my cart.
    Okay, I will admit there was a time I was amused by such bunk at an entertainment level, but like television wrestling, the novelty wears off because you know it’s not reality it’s merely a form of entertainment and there are more intellectually challenging forms of entertainment that makes all of that fall by the wayside.
    If you still wish to indulge in fantasy, they there are many great writers of science fiction and fantasy and they admit that are producing fiction.
    It’s the same thing on the internet. The red flag would be that the plane was found in the Bermuda Triangle. As most of the legends, and I use the words legends in an mythical urban way, such thing were found around the boundaries of the Bermuda Triangle, not actually in them. Usually the factual ones were ships that have shown up completely abandoned, with no apparent damage to the ship or it’s contents.
    There is more false tales about the Devil’s Triangle than true ones, and the true ones have been glorified into fictitious or fabricated versions.
    Yet my point is as I do not touch that National Inquirer in the shopping queue, four out of ten hands reach for them and place them into their baskets. I am not about to start explaining their folly like a zealous clergyman doing an on the spot sermon. So, I use venues such as this to try to appeal to common sense.

    Mark Burrows

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