If you, like many Americans, are celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden, be careful. You may be more susceptible to the latest tactics of identity thieves. The FBI is warning people about emails and posts on social networking sites which claim to have photos and videos of Bin Laden’s death. If you click on them, you may be exposing yourself to a scammer who will try to steal your identity.
Scammers Utilize Bin Laden
You might be wondering: what exactly does Bin Laden’s death have to do with identity theft? His recent death has left many Americans extremely curious, to say the least. And Americans want to see with their own eyes what happened. This leads to the temptation to click on whatever enters your inbox or shows up as a post on Facebook and claims to contain photos and videos of the whole ordeal. Scammers were apparently thinking fast about how they could benefit from Bin Laden’s death, as this scheme had already started appearing on social networking sites like Facebook within days of the news.
How to Protect Your Identity
You should be especially wary of the links you click on at this time. Just because an email has made its way into your inbox, doesn’t mean it is safe. Unfortunately, once you click on a link that promises to show you photos or videos of Bin Laden’s death, you could be infecting your computer with a virus. The virus could also potentially spread to your contacts and infect them too. Some viruses can give scammers access to your personal information and leave you at risk for identity theft. Once your identity is stolen, you will be faced with a nightmare scenario of having to change all your credit cards and bank account numbers.
Red flags for suspicious emails include misspellings or bad grammar. If you suspect an email is spam and could contain a virus, don’t open it and delete it from your inbox. This scheme could also show up on your Facebook wall as a post from a friend, or you might see it as a post on a friend’s wall. Make sure you do not click on any links. Instead, if a friend posts a link on your wall, you can report it as spam by clicking the x on the upper right-hand side of the post and selecting ‘report as spam’ from the dropdown menu.