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‘Eye on Scams:’ Watch out for clickbait scams following a tragedy

Eye on Scams

Lafayette, La. (KLFY) The tragic death of Kobe Bryant and eight others is likely to generate scams exploiting fans’ eagerness for information and memorabilia.

The Better Business Bureau has seen this happen numerous times in the past when celebrities have died, unexpectedly, and is warning consumers to be on the lookout for scams involving Kobe Bryant and his daughter, who were killed in a helicopter crash Sunday.

The Better Business Bureau is warning basketball fans everywhere to not let their mourning cloud their judgment.

Spear phishing emails are directed toward an individual, organization or business with a catchy headline.

Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “We experience these types of things and have this reported to us almost any time somebody high profile passes away. The scammers see that as an opportunity to affect a large group of consumers and that’s what they’re going to attempt to do.”

The scammer claims to be from a reputable news organization capitalizing on trending news with an exclusive video, image or document they want to share with you.

“With Kobe Bryant, maybe basketball cards or basketball jerseys. Things to be able to remember him by, and it’s fake merchandise or the merchandise doesn’t even exist. It’s scammers creating fake websites hoping that out of the emotional state that we’re all in over the tragedy that we go on and loosely act with our credit card information,” added Babin.

There is typically a link in a phishing email that will lead the user to a malicious website if they click on it.

Babin said, “They’ve created this website that’s going to be high in the search results for that reason because it is a scam website or they send out mass amounts of spam email to any email address they can find offering exclusive offers on memorabilia.”

Here are some suggestions on how to avoid these clickbait scams:

  • Look at the sender’s email address before clicking on anything in the email.
    • Don’t click links in any email unless you are positive it goes to a reputable address.
  • Hover over a link to see its true destination. Before you click, mouse over the link to see where it will take you.

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