As you open an email or surf the internet you will likely scroll across the section of an article that reads, “Related Article” or “CLICK HERE” with links that might interest you to the point of clicking, only to find out you have been hooked and reeled into a scam.
This link bait scam, was caught by our very own Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist, Heather Wagenhals, upon reading an article with a related Facebook offer. This linkbait, which is a piece of content, such as an article, video or podcast, is placed on the Web that results in others wanting to link to that content. Essentially the content acts as “bait” for others to link in to the information and in the article Heather read on a popular Michigan website, MLive, she clicked on the related “link bait” article only to come across a Facebook pop-up with the following link:
DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK!
*Notice the http://facebook.com–free.deals/
The three specials offered in this link lures you into a fake website, only to make it all appear as a legit Facebook or related article link, but in reality this is all set up by data thieves, according to BustSpammers.com. So you might think you are filling out a form to receive this “special offer”, however you are actually filling out an invitation, providing your personal information for criminals to commit identity theft, credit card fraud, and clean out your bank accounts. This method of link bait scam is called “phishing”.
Scam artists are good at link targeting which is why we provide advice on how to identify the good vs bad links by considering our expert advice on how to avoid the Special Offer and CLICK HERE Link Bait Scams:
-Hover over a link before clicking the article or special offer. In the floating description, at the bottom of your page you will see the actual link.
-Keep your personal information OFF the internet. Whether you’re filling out a Free subscription to magazine or signing up for a membership, do no enter your social security number or bank account number unless you are 100% sure the site is safe. When in doubt, call the company to confirm the site requests this information.
-Check for secure connections (SSL) within the link: https://www.instantssl.com/ssl.html
-Email scams with link baits can hook and reel you in by only knowing your last name and the last 4 digits of your account number. Be cautious though, as this information is minimal and not confirming your entire membership or account number, which should send red flags to you.
-If it sounds too good to be true, then you’re likely right. So stay away from the FREE $100 credit baits by sticking to who and what you know.
Are you a victim of fraud or money scam? Share your story with us on the Money Credit and You Facebook page!