Tempted to check out some nude pictures of celebrities posted this week by hackers?
You're not alone. Given the interest in celebrities, and, well, the interest in seeing some of them naked, interest is the news of the hack is quite high -- particularly given that among those whose photos were pilfered and published include supermodel Kate Upton and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence.
Any time there is such a surge of interest in something online, whether it's Robin Williams' supposed final video or terrorists executing journalists, scammers try to lure in victims by tempting them with so-called click-bait. Maybe you wouldn't have gone out hunting for that video or the celebrity pictures, but if they suddenly appear in your Facebook news feed and all you have to do is click, it's easy to think, why not?
Clicking Could Lead to Identity Theft
The Better Business Bureau put out a warning in the wake of the celebrity nude photo leak about the likelihood that it will be yet another way to trick the curious into clicking on links that could put malware on their devices. The malware can be used to steal personal and financial information and lead to identity theft.
"BBB expects to see 'click baiting' scams claiming to link to the photos," the group said in its warning. "Clicking on these links or downloading photos can instead install malware on your computer or smartphone. Some sites may ask for personal information that can lead to identity theft or be used for additional spamming."
Here is the BBB's advice on how to avoid such scams:
- Don't take the bait. Stay away from promotions of "exclusive," "shocking" or "sensational" video or photos.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Delete unsolicited emails or social media messages that raise red flags.
- 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" online. It might not actually be your friends who are "liking" or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked, and scammers could be using another tactic called "clickjacking, where scammers trick you into clicking on social media links that you would not usually click on.