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Thursday
May052011

Death of Osama Bin Laden Spurs New Cyber-Scams

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- The Better Business Bureau Thursday warned about a "slew of cyber-scams" that have appeared online in the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden. 

Internet security firm Kapersky Labs reports malicious online scams targeting social media sites such as Facebook as well as Google Images searches. 

One example on Facebook features a video claiming to show the death of Osama bin Laden.  When Facebook users click on the malicious URL, warns the BBB, a virus could infect the users' computers.

Another scam involves the circulation of a letter seemingly written by a "soldier," asking for readers for help in transferring millions of dollars to a "trustworthy" U.S. citizen.

The BBB recommends several ways consumers can avoid these scams:

1.  Think before you click.  The BBB notes that no photos or videos related to Osama bin Laden's death have been released and consumers should "be extremely skeptical of links that say otherwise."

2.  Don't fall for the not-so-free "free" offer.  Web users should be wary of sites claiming to "celebrate" any sort of occasion with free offers or giveaways, particularly if you have not heard of the company before.

3.  Spread the word.  The BBB encourages consumers to discuss cyber-scams with friends or family who have access to the Internet.

4.  Know the red flags.  Scam emails and websites often are riddled with grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.  Cyber-scammers also may ask people to wire money to resolve various situations.  The BBB says these are red flags and Web users should look be skeptical when they come across them.

5.  Check with the BBB.  For more information on how to protect yourself from cyber-scams, visit BBB.org.

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