HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Following the tragic death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant, the Better Business Bureau is warning basketball fans to not their mourning cloud their judgement.
The BBB said tragedies tend to generate scams exploiting fans' eagerness to get information.
"When you think about it, everybody wants information. They want those details," said Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of the BBB serving Western Virginia. "They want to know more, so they're more likely to click on links to stories or emails that are offering exclusive information or video that hasn't been seen anywhere else."
According to the BBB, spear phishing emails have catchy headlines and claim to be from a reputable news organization. There is typically a link capitalizing on trending news with an exclusive video or picture that will lead the user to a malicious website.
Clickbait is a sensationalized-post highlighting exclusive, breaking, or urgent news. Often, these posts will use words like "amaze," or "shocking," and, if clicked, the links could lead readers to websites where their personal information can be stolen.
To avoid becoming a victim, the BBB suggests looking at the sender's email address before clicking anything in the email and don't click links unless you're positive they go to a reputable address. Also, hover over links to see the true destination and stay away from promotions that sound too outlandish to be true.
For more tips, click here.