ZZZ Email Scam - A Scammer is Phishing for Your Identity

Click Baiting Scams: Emails and Social Media Pages Containing Links to Video About News Stories, Celebrities, etc.
Except, they are scams and contain malware!

Whenever a major story breaks, especially involving celebrities, (and even more so, naked celebrities) scammers take advantage of the interest and generate with online photos, stories and social media links that claim to offer photos and the gory details. This is called �click baiting.� Some examples include the death of comedian/actor Robin Williams.

How does the click bait scam work?

You receive an email or see a popup that offers video and gory details of a sensational news story, often involving a graphic death, violence, nudity or sex. The scammers lure you into clicking on the link by:

  • Impersonating victims or family members on social media.
  • Selling memorabilia, often promising that some or all of the proceeds will go to charity
  • Promoting sensational video footage or photos

If you click

You may download malware, viruses, or provide information to the scammers that leads to identity theft.

How to avoid the scam...

Hover over links to see their true destinations and where it would take you. If you don't recognize and trustthe website, don't click!

Don�t trust that your friends online are actually your friends. Spammers may have hacked their account and be using clickjacking to trick you into clicking on social media links that you would not usually click on.

How to report click bait

If you have been victimized by a click-bait scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.

Learn More About Phishing

The following documents and websites can help you learn more about phishing and how to protect yourself against phishing attacks.

Methods of Reporting Phishing Email to US-CERT

  • In Outlook Express, you can create a new message and drag and drop the phishing email into the new message. Address the message to phishing-report@us-cert.gov  and send it.
  • In Outlook Express you can also open the email message* and select File > Properties > Details. The email headers will appear. You can copy these as you normally copy text and include it in a new message tophishing-report@us-cert.gov .
  • If you cannot forward the email message, at a minimum, please send the URL of the phishing website.

* If the suspicious mail in question includes a file attachment, it is safer to simply highlight the message and forward it. Some configurations, especially in Windows environments, may allow the execution of arbitrary code upon opening and viewing a malicious email message.

For more information about phishing, see this page.

Recommendations- What to do:

  • Only open email or IM attachments that come from a trusted source and that are expected
  • Use an anti-virus/anti-spam package (we recommend Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security scan all attachments prior to opening. Click here to see Norton 360 2013 on Amazon.com .
  • Delete the messages without opening any attachments
  • Do not click on links in emails that come from people you do not know and trust, even if it looks like it comes from a company you know.
  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date
  • Keep your operating system up to date with current security patches. Click here for an article that describes how to do this.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.